New AI-powered investment app to focus on Hong Kong millennials

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 May, 2018, 6:08pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 May, 2018, 6:08pm

Financial services provider CFSG launched Hong Kong’s first artificial intelligence-powered financial investment app targeted at millennials on Tuesday, in a strategic partnership with broadband provider HKT.

The app, named Alpha i, promises to execute trades in as fast as 0.8 milliseconds since it connects to the Hong Kong stock exchange as well as various major cloud servers linked to HKT’s network.

Alpha i also claims to use “Nasa technology” as well as AI, deep learning and big data analytics to better predict market trends such as share price rallies and declines, to which the app can then alert its users via push notifications.

The fintech company hopes to grow Alpha i’s user base to 50,000 people with a turnover of HK$100 million (US$12.75 million) by the end of 2018, Jeffrey Kwan, executive director of CFSG, told the South China Morning Post.

“We definitely hope that this app will make financial investments more accessible and interesting to millennials,” said Kwan. “Additional services such as on the go investing advice for clients will entice them to use this app. Users can turn on an AI price alert which will help them monitor stocks they have added to their watch list.”

Millennial investors are already accustomed to using hands-free robo advisers, digital platforms that automatically produce algorithm-driven financial advice on investing.

This has helped to boost the MSCI China Index since robo-advisers typically advise millennials to invest in emerging markets exchange-traded funds (ETFs), a large part of which automatically goes into Chinese equities, according to Ajay Kapur, BofA Merrill Lynch’s Asia Pacific equity and global emerging markets strategist.

Hong Kong millennials also lead their Asian peers in investing in stocks, with more than two thirds of those aged 25 to 35 pouring money into investment portfolios, according to a 2017 survey from global asset management firm BlackRock.

But CFSG is not the only Hong Kong firm to develop digital financial investment products. Fintech start-up 8 Securities launched a robo advisory service named Chloe in 2016, which lets users invest in a diversified portfolio of Hong Kong-listed ETFs.

The firm recently raised US$25 million from Japan’s Nomura Asset Management in April to develop robo advisory products specifically for millennials in the Japanese market.

Alpha i is available to registered clients of CFSG only, and is free to download on the app Store, Google Play and other major app platforms.