Is eToro available in SA?
First things first, many locals ask about the availability of eToro, and the answer is yes, eToro is available to clients who live in Saudi Arabia. It has recently gained substantial traction with local traders since eToro is one of the first international trading platforms to offer a CFD on Aramco shares. However, it is essential to remark that it is not regulated by the Saudi's CMA (Capital Market Authority).
What is eToro?
eToro is an online broker that offers one of the top trading platforms worldwide. Founded in 2007, the company is headquartered in Cyprus. eToro is the most important Social Trading platform: It allows investors to research other users' investment strategies. When saying investment strategies, we are not only referring to general parameters but practically all trader's investment history, orders, traded financial assets, and track record (Earnings or historical losses). With all this available info, eToro then allows users to "Copy" other users' portfolios and, in turn, will enable one to be copied by other users (as long as the profile is set up as public). This means that you may attract traders to invest in your trading strategies, which in turn generates money in the form of commissions.
Is eToro a trustworthy broker?
eToro is regulated in the UK, US, Cyprus and Australia:
eToro (UK) Ltd. is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA),
eToro (Europe) Ltd. is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and retains a cross border license from the CySEC to offer its services in member states of the European Economic Area, and outside of it.
Member of the NFA (National Futures Association).
eToro USA is operated by eToro USA LLC, registered with FinCEN as a Money Services Business.
eToro Australia Pty Ltd is regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
UK's FCA is considered the strictest regulator globally, implying that eToro is a very reliable Broker, since it has to comply with robust regulation on its operation and customer care.
eToro's CopyTrader Platform
Since eToro's Social Trading platform was launched in 2010, the Broker has incorporated many improvements to its platform, including the possibility of choosing the leverage level of each trade, the opportunity that any average Joe may receive commissions when copied by other investors [By becoming a 'Popular Investor']. eToro's Trading platform also allows 'copying' thematic portfolios in the "CopyPortfolios" section. Among some of the thematic portfolios available, some invest in Cryptocurrencies, Medicinal Cannabis, Travel Industry, BioTech, Internet, Drones, among many others.
Bid and Ask order types available on eToro's Platform
When trading any financial instrument, eToro's Trading platform allows the following functionalities:
Take Profit: When using this functionality, you may specify a maximum value when the trade should be closed automatically. In other words, if a financial asset rises, the trader can "protect the profits" by cashing in the profits.
Stop Loss: Alternatively, when using the Stop Loss functionality, a minimum price should be specified at which the position traded on the financial instrument should be closed automatically. In other words, if the financial asset's price falls, the trader can minimise the losses of the trade to the specified price level.
Limit Order: You may use a limit to buy or sell a stock at a specific price or better. A buy limit order is executed at the limit price or lower, and a sell limit order is completed at the limit price or higher.
Leverage Level: eToro's platform allows Traders to choose each trade's leverage level. Depending on the instrument, the level of available leverage will vary. In particular, when you select leverage level 1 for equity markets, you are acquiring an instrument as you would obtain the actual stock.
Forex & CFD instruments offered by eToro
Forex: +47 currency pairs – Majors, minors, and exotics.
Stocks: eToro offers +1,800 CFDs on Stocks from 12 major Stock Exchanges, among which there are the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, London Stock Exchange and Xetra, four of the most popular Stock Exchanges among investors. An interesting fact for Saudi traders is that eToro offers a CFD on Aramco's shares.
ETFs: CFDs on 145 ETFs from iShares, Vanguard, PIMCO, Invesco, Market Vectors, Horizons, among other asset managers.
Commodities: CFDs on 13 commodities, being Gold and Oil the most popular among traders.
Indices: 13 major stock exchanges indices.
Cryptocurrencies: CFDs on 17 cryptocurrencies.
Thematic Portfolios: eToro offers CFDs on 19 Trading ideas [Portfolios] like Food And Drink, eSports, 5G among others.
Social Trading: As mentioned before, eToro offers the possibility of acquiring portfolios developed by other traders using the platform via it's 'CopyPortfolio' feature.
Opening a CFD trading account with eToro from Saudi Arabia
As well as any other online service, opening an eToro Forex and CFD trading account from Saudi Arabia is a process that takes only a few minutes and requires a Valid ID (ID Card or Passport) and a proof of address (electricity, water bills, etc.), which are scanned through the platform. Should everything be approved by eToro, the account would be operational in less than a day. You may deposit and withdraw money through:
International Bank Transfer
Opening a Demo Account is free, so you may try the Demo, test it, and then decide whether you will deposit funds or not.
Does eToro offer Islamic accounts? Am I allowed to Trade if I am Muslim?
Yes - eToro offers Islamic accounts. And how do they work? An Islamic account is a halal trading account available to clients who respect the Quran and wish to invest while following Islamic finance principles. Islamic trading accounts differ in several ways from regular Forex accounts.
As Sharia law prohibits the accumulation of interest, traders with Islamic accounts do not pay or receive interest rates. Also, transactions in Islamic accounts have to be completed without delays, so currencies must be transferred from one account to another immediately, and transaction costs must also be paid simultaneously. Islamic accounts are also known as swap-free accounts because of this, and they follow four basic principles to be considered Halal:
Prohibition of payment and receipt of any interest rate (Riba)
Immediate exchanges in the context of trading operations
Prohibition of gambling
Distribution of risks and benefits
eToro's Minimum Deposit in SA
We have saved some good news for the last paragraph: Opening an account with Real funds requires USD200 only (Or the equivalent in Riyal). If you choose an Islamic account, the minimum initial deposit is USD 1,000. Good luck, and we hope you make money with this popular Trading Platform.
Update on eToro's minimum deposit (Jan 11th, 2021): eToro has seen an unprecedented demand for its services from new users. To manage demand and ensure the existing community of 17M registered users can continue to access eToro’s services uninterrupted, the minimum deposit for new users was temporarily increased to $1000.
Update (Jan 15th, 2021): New temporary minimum of $500.
Update (Jan 18th, 2021): Minimum amount changed back to $200.