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E*TRADE Opens French Branch

Looking to expand its services overseas, online investment service E*TRADE Group, Inc. signed a licensing agreement Thursday to establish a subsidiary in France with CPR, a French investment and asset management bank.

The new company, called CPR E*TRADE, adds France to the 31 other countries E*TRADE already serves.

"E*TRADE's entry into the French market is another advancement in our strategy for building the preeminent global online investing network," said Judy Balint, E*TRADE International's president and chief operating officer.

Under the agreement, the new service will enhance CPR's current investment Web site, CPR Bourse. Sixty-six percent of CPR E*TRADE will be held by CPR, and 34 percent will be held by E*TRADE NetBourse. The new company will also have exclusive rights in France to use the E*TRADE brand. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The new Web site will offer tools and services for online investing, including access to online trading, real-time quotes, analyst research and recommendations, charting, portfolio management, financial and company news, mutual fund trading.

"France's individual investors will be the real beneficiaries of this exciting joint venture," said Henri Cukierman, chairman of CPR and CPR E*TRADE. "It is expected to provide a comprehensive and integrated portfolio of advanced online tools and services that empower individual investors to build their personal financial future."