Ameritrade Targeting France

Online brokerage Ameritrade Holding Corp.
and Cortal, a European
discount broker Monday announced plans to join in offering cross-border trading, enabling the companies’ users to trade stocks over the Internet in the U.S. and France.

Through the agreement, Ameritrade’s U.S. customers can purchase stocks
listed on the Paris Bourse through Cortal, and Cortal customers will have
access to American securities through Ameritrade. Cross-trading is expected to begin during the next six months.

Ameritrade said its strategy is to team with other firms rather than
create its own brand presence in international markets. Cortal customers cam
access U.S.
markets by clicking on an American flag icon on the Cortal site, and trading
instructions will appear in French. Stock research will also be provided on
the site.

Cortal is part of Paribas, a European investment bank. Cortal said it was the
first discount broker in Europe, operating since 1984. The company plans to
expand its online trading services to include
direct investor
access for European investors to nine
international stock markets, including the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.

“The arrangement allows each party to do what it does best in its
respective home market. Customers will
still have the confidence and convenience of dealing with their local
financial services provider, while the
investment products and Internet financial services available to them will
be greatly expanded,” said Neil
W. Benedict, Ameritrade’s vice president of international operations.

“Ameritrade and Cortal are very similar in our cultures and approach to
investment. We both have pioneered discount brokering and are focused on the Internet as a way to provide the lowest possible cost and highest possible value to our customers,” said Philippe Nahum, Cortal’s managing
director.

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