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E*TRADE Takes Control of European Licensee

In a move to bolster its global trading strategy, E*TRADE Group Inc. Friday bought E*TRADE @ NetBourse S.A., the company's licensee for Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, Italy and France.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

E*TRADE International says that the buy is part of a larger plan to develop regional centers which serve the company's overall goals of strong management control, cost effectiveness and established economies of scale.

"The E*TRADE @ NetBourse acquisition further strengthens our European strategy by allowing us to leverage greater efficiencies in operations, management and technology, while advancing our overall growth plans," said Judy Balint, E*TRADE International's president and COO.

Balint added that the regional centers will play into the capitalization of E*TRADE's (EGRP) cross-border online trading network, which is expected to be operational by the end of next year.

The local entities will also be linked to the company's watershed purchase of TIR Holdings, which the company says will offer deep operational experience as well as the infrastructure for a global trading system.

In a similar move aimed at aggregating the brokerage's international holdings, the company last month purchased E*TRADE Nordic AB, its licensee in Scandinavia. E*TRADE also recently invested in The European Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation (EASDAQ), and has set up shop in Germany.



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