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Europeans Introduce Their Own Online Steel Market

[London, ENGLAND] In response to American and Asian online solutions, European steel producers announced their own e-commerce platform Wednesday by introducing SteelDex (Steel Direct Exchange).

Privately funded, but soon to be backed by what it calls "a leading European financial institution," SteelDex will enable European producers, traders, and selected customers to buy and sell the whole range of steel products.

Leading participants are currently Thyssen Mannesmann Handel of Germany and Champion of France, but SteelDex management said many others are either signing letters of intent or taking shares in the new market.

SteelDex Chief Executive Moritz Spilker said that negotiations with key players in the European steel industry were well advanced.

"With SteelDex our partners exclusively bring in their experience. We are looking forward to developing with them the leading electronic steel market in Europe," said Spilker.

Spilker added that the new market would commence trading in the fall.

Among the private shareholders are Peter Jungen, the former chief executive of Strabag, and Michael B. Pfitzner, former board member of Saarstahl/Krupp.

Two prominent figures are serving on the SteelDex supervisory board -- Josef Rentmeister, director of Cisco Systems in Germany and Lenhard J. Holschuh, secretary general of the International Iron and Steel Institute (IISI) in Brussels.

Headquartered in Germany, SteelDex is inviting potential members to register online. Only registered members will be admitted to the exchange.

Helping SteelDex with the technical aspects of putting the exchange online is IT partner Electronic Business Consult, a German-based B2B consultancy.