Rakuten Securities, a unit within the financial services arm of e-commerce and digital-content giant Rakuten, acquired Asian foreign exchange businesses from U.S.-based online trading firm Forex Capital Markets (FXCM) last year for $100 million. The move underscores the global growth ambitions of Rakuten, which has 100 million people registered for online shopping and a financial strategy that includes banking, brokerage, credit cards, insurance and even a $100 million fund for strategic investments in financial technology start-ups. Since 2013, Rakuten Securities has been significantly expanding its equity trading and revenue due to the upward market trend brought about by Abenomics, says Masayuki Hosaka, 61, an executive vice president at Rakuten and executive director of its finance business. The securities company is aggressively expanding and diversifying its revenue sources. Its purchase of FXCM Japan Securities Co. supported its strategy to become the top FX service provider in Japan. Adding FXCM Asia and FXCM Hong Kong represented the first step in overseas business expansion, and there will be further business development, says Hosaka, who joined Rakuten in 2006 as president of what is now Rakuten Card Co. after more than 25 years with ORIX Credit Corp. Elsewhere in his part of Tokyo-based Rakuten, online lending service Rakuten Super Business Loan Express has been introduced for merchants operating on Japanese e-commerce portal Rakuten Ichiba. Rakuten Smartpay, which handles card transactions through smart devices, has become Japans No. 1 e-payments vendor. To expand our Rakuten ecosystem model overseas, we launched Rakuten Card in Taiwan, seeking synergies with the Taiwan Rakuten Ichiba e-commerce business, Hosaka adds.
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