DLJdirect To Launch Japanese Online Brokerage

DLJdirect Wednesday announced it will launch its Japanese brokerage, DLJdirect SFG, on June 11.

DLJdirect is the result of a joint venture formed in March between DLJdirect Inc. and Japanese shareholders and companies, including firms from Sumitomo Group, Daiwa Securities Group Inc. and Internet Initiative Japan.

Initial services will include Internet trading of stocks on the Tokyo and Osaka Stock Exchanges, over-the-counter stocks, and money market funds. Online content will include stock prices and charts, company and economic news, and equities research. IPO information will be provided by FISCO, and online economics and chart analysis classes will also be offered.

Japanese investors may obtain information and place orders online or through toll-fee telephone access. DLJdirect SFG will not charge for account registration. OTC commissions will be discounted 60 percent and DLJdirect SFG pricing will be competitive after industry deregulation scheduled for Oct. 1.

Content and product offerings would continue to expand during the coming year, according to Atsushi Kunishige, vice chairman of DLJdirect SFG. Future product additions will include mutual funds, access to U.S. and European markets, and expanded news and research report sources.

DLJdirect Inc. owns 50 percent of the entity and Sumitomo Bank Ltd. has a 20 percent stake, with the remaining 30 percent shareholder stake divided among Sumitomo Marine & Fire, Sumitomo Co., Sumitomo Trust & Banking, Sumitomo Life, Daiwa Securities Group Inc. and Internet Initiative Japan Inc.

DLJdirect SFG chairman, K. Blake Darcy, who also oversees DLJdirect, called the company’s Japanese partners “highly respected, forward-thinking organizations with a strong local brand presence,” adding his belief that Japanese
investors will adapt to the “convenience of online investing, as American investors have.”

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