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Swedish Online Broker Builds Financial Portal

Following in the footsteps of American financial sites, Swedish online brokerage Avanza has acquired financial service Inside from Scandinavia Online, and will integrate its service into a financial portal.

Under terms of the acquisition, Scandinavia Online will hold 17 percent of Avanza's stock as payment for Insides, making it the second largest owner of the Net broker. Financial specifics of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Avanza will combine its current services with those offered by Inside to make its total position more attractive. Its strategy is to build a comprehensive financial portal for Swedish investors. Resources include stock quotes, news and research information from financial newspaper Finanstidningen, and opinions and analysis.

Currently, Inside has about 3,000 paying customers, while Avanza offers its services for free. Because Avanza will keep its combined service free, the company hopes to retain Inside's customers. Avanza is also hoping to attract more advertisers to the free site.

Scandinavia Online will promote Avanza on its own community site, Passagen.