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Boom.com Reveals U.S. Trading & New Look

Hong Kong's Web brokerage pioneer, Boom Securities, has unveiled its U.S. securities trading services, an interface that experts describe as dynamic, and a content deal with Reuters.

While Boom's move into US securities trading and expanded financial content solidify its positioning as Hong Kong's first Web broker, its overall new look is what's attracting attention.

"They have combined the best of Charles Schwab, E-Trade, DLJ and Yahoo!," said Antonio Tambunan, industry analyst and manager of Deloite & Touche Corporate Finance. Tambunan indicated that, with its redesign, the Web broker would leave most of its current regional competitors behind.

"They have just catapulted ahead of anybody in Asia," said a regional investment specialist. "Before, I thought that they'd be bought out by a US firm but now I think they may not need to be."

The new interface provides simultaneous access to Boom's trading facilities and information services by combining them into a single location. Market sources say that it is the ease of use and access that will be attractive to individual and retail investors.

"1998 was not a good year for brokers but we took the opportunity to build a better brand," said Mark Duff, CEO of Boom Securities.

"We just completed a US trading product," said Duff, "It is the first time that an Hong Kong online broker has provided US stock brokering."

Duff said that Boom had also signed an agreement with the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong to provide real-time exchange data and closed a deal with Reuters to provide an expanded financial information service.

"Very few people understand the scale of the arrangement with Reuters," said.

The new Web-based service for trading US equities, which will be available to retail investors in one month, will be the first to be offered by a Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) registered Internet securities firm in Hong Kong.

With the new service, users can place orders day or night for US listed stocks on any of the three major exchanges; the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the American Stock Exchange (AMEX), and the technology-orientated NASDAQ market.

Boom also offers a service which provides access to multiple markets, designed to allow investors to manage their portfolio more easily, whether they are US or Hong Kong stocks.

The other big development at Boom is its deal with Reuters.

The service offers a range of financial information covering the stock, bond and commodities markets, foreign exchange rates, a wide range of economic indicators, as well as general and political news covering Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia.

The service also provides retail investors with financial market news from the United States and Europe.