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ANZ Bank Invests In HK's BOOM

[May 22] Australia's ANZ Bank (ANZ) announced to the ASX Monday afternoon it will invest US $8 million in Hong Kong based online broker BOOM.com.

BOOM bills itself as Asia's financial hub, facilitating cross border equities trade. Presently, BOOM allows clients to trade via Boom Securities in Hong Kong Singapore and U.S. listed shares.

ANZ said in a statment to the ASX, the US $8 million 10% stake in BOOM.com is part of its e-Commerce strategy for the Asia Pacific region. Bill Hambrecht from US investment bank W R Hambrecht & Co, venture capital firm JF Shea Ventures, Hong Kong's Eu family, and the BOOM.com's management and employees are now all shareholders in BOOM.com.

ANZ's stake forms half of BOOM.com's latest capital raising of US $16 million.

"Online broking is an important component of ANZ's eAsia strategy. It is a pivotal application from which the development and online delivery of other products and services becomes possible," said Elmer Funke Kupper ANZ's head of international operations.

BOOM.com CEO and managing director Mark Duff said one of the first parts of Boom's expansion plan following the raising will be to offer clients the abilty to trade stocks on almost any exchange accross the region.

Singapore is the first exchange outside of Hong Kong to be BOOM.comed. After the city, state BOOM hopes to offer equities trading to the rest of ASEAN (at least those that have stock exchanges) then Japan. In the next 12 months BOOM hopes to have all of Asia ready to trade.



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