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E*Trade Toasts Wine Exchange

[Sydney, AUSTRALIA] Online stockbroker E*Trade Australia will take an equity stake in the Australian Wine Exchange (AWX), a private group undertaking the development of Australia's first market for trading in premium wine.

Under a memorandum of understanding unveiled yesterday, E*Trade has an option to take an undisclosed equity in AWX, which will operate in a manner similar to the Australian Stock Exchange.

The AWX model for the trading of premium wine will bring buyers and sellers together in an open exchange, with uncertificated holding statements to represent the trading and movement of wine prior to physical delivery.

"The AWX will take the wine industry out of auction rooms and shopping trolleys and into the world of financial services," said E*Trade's chief executive officer Michael Deleray. "Our goal will be to help the AWX develop the market and to offer investors access to our fully electronic trading platform to buy and sell premium wine."

AWX chief executive Stephen Thompson said the E*Trade trading platform was an ideal channel to trade premium wine, and that the deal would allow the AWX access to E*Trade's 55,000 online investors.



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