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Bartercard Launches Online Shopping Mall Ahead of Public Float

Trade exchange Bartercard International has added to its e-commerce portal with the launch of its Internet Shopping Mall, ahead of the company's planned float on the Australian Stock Exchange later this month.

Bartercard intends to create an electronic marketplace for cashless barter transactions, and will use proceeds from the share float to fund further software development and expansion of the Internet portal.

Bartercard executive chairman Wayne Sharpe said the mall is an industry first by providing a one-stop shop allowing Bartercard members to conduct business with both Internet-enabled members and non-Web users.

"Members will be able to list their products, services or special promotion on a daily basis if they wish, both directly via the Internet or by sending their details to our staff, who will then update their Web site," said Sharpe.

"Not only will members have the convenience of shopping whenever they wish in a catalog style, itemized shopping environment, but they will also have access to thousands of products and services from Bartercard's members around the world," he said.

The online shopping mall is the latest addition to the Bartercard Web site's e-commerce features, which include an online auction, online directory, travel, real estate, worldwide news service and franchizing information.

Sharpe said Bartercard has received 2,300 applications ahead of its intended float, with a further 2,500 copies of the company prospectus downloaded from the site and 5,000 mailed requests.

"Unlike many of the 'dot.coms' that have recently floated, Bartercard is an established business with a business model that has worked in many countries and has a sustained record of profitability and growth," he said.

Bartercard expects to be the first trade exchange in the world to list on a stock exchange using trade dollars for a portion of the offer, and forecasts a profit for 2001 an AUS$7.1 million (US$4.26 million).