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E*Trade Continues Overseas Expansion

Online broker E*Trade Group Inc. Wednesday expanded its global presence with the launch of CPR-E*Trade, which is targeting French investors.

CPR-E*Trade joins affiliates in Canada, Australia and Japan as part of the company's strategy to offer consumer investment services worldwide.

E*Trade is partnering with CPR, an investment and asset management bank in France already offering online investing services. Using the new site, investors can place domestic (French) stock, bond and mutual fund transactions online, as well as trade through the Minitel and Kiosque services and research stock information.

With CPR-E*Trade, the company hopes to bolster French online investment, which is lagging behind other European countries, said Judy Balint, E*Trade International's president and chief operating officer.

"Of the estimated 600,000 active individual investors in France, only 12 percent conduct transactions over the Internet," Balint said.

"We believe the financial products and services, including research tools, that are offered on the CPR-E*Trade Web site will encourage a greater number of French consumers to take control of their investing decisions online."

"As acceptance of the Internet grows among French consumers, we believe an increasing number of consumers will take advantage of the power and convenience of investing online through CPR-E*TRADE," added Guillaume de Charry, director of CPR-E*Trade.