E*Trade Australia Distances Itself From US Troubles

The Australian subsidiary of online brokerage provider E*Trade has sought to distance itself from the network outages afflicting its US parent.

Thousands of irate small investors in the US were locked out of
E*Trade’s share trading service for small periods over three days last week,
causing the company’s price to slump from US$50 to below US$35 as multiple
lawsuits were lodged by customers to recover lost profits.

E*Trade Australia said that while it shares the same network architecture
as its owner, the local operations also include technology customised
for Australian trading conditions.

“No aspect of E*Trade Australia’s trading function was affected, and
E*Trade Australia experienced no service interruptions,” the company
said in a statement.

Share trades by E*Trade client investors represented more than 1.5
percent of all trading on the Australian Stock Exchange in January.
The membership base of the Australian operations had grown by 37.5
percent from 6000 in December 1998 to 8250 in mid-February 1999, the company

E*Trade’s stock price has regained most of its losses from last week,
closing on Friday at US$46.

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