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Share Centre Launches Low-Cost Real-Time Dealing

[London, ENGLAND] If proof were needed that the Internet has transformed share dealing in the U.K. it is Tuesday's announcement that The Share Centre is offering real-time dealing to account customers from just £7.50 (US $10.95) minimum.

The new, low-cost option in real-time trading undercuts the prices of other online brokers substantially. E*Trade is twice as expensive at £14.95 (US $21.83), and The Share Centre even beats Charles Schwab where the minimum dealing commission is £12.50 (US $18.25) for similar trades.

However, the low minimum is exactly what it says -- a minimum. The Share Centre, Britain's largest independent retail stockbroker, charges one percent of the value of the deal.

"Our Internet strategy is designed to keep charges as low as possible," said Gavin Oldham, chief executive of The Share Centre.

"The Internet provides the necessary economics for real-time dealing and we are delighted to upgrade our services in this way," added Oldham.

The Share Centre (www.share.com) has targeted the low-end of the share dealing market, gathering users among private individuals who have only modest sums to invest. Up till now it has dealt orders at 9am, 1pm and 4pm, but with real-time trading it offers continuous buying and selling throughout the day.

Owned by Share plc, The Share Centre has over 0.2 million private investors on its customer contact base. It also administers a quarter of a million shareholdings valued at around a billion pounds (US $1.46 billion).

Founded in 1990 by Gavin Oldham, The Share Centre has grown dramatically in recent years, acquiring a sharedealing business from Bradford & Bingley in early 1999. On behalf of many companies it now handles the purchase of shares for various government approved tax-free personal equity schemes.

Last year saw another change for The Share Centre when existing account holders were offered free shares in its parent company Share plc. For trading them it has created its own internal market named "ShareMark."



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