E*TRADE Buys Into Australia for $1.6M

Menlo Park, Calif.-based E*TRADE Group Inc. moved to expand its footprint overseas
Monday with a $1.6 million deal to acquire a 7.5 percent
equity stake — about 6.4 million shares — in E*TRADE Australia, which has
increased customer accounts by 30 percent over the 12
months which ended in November. In that period, customer assets with E*TRADE
Australia also rose 37.5 percent.

Under the deal, E*TRADE Australia will receive an exclusive royalty-free
trademark license for electronic retail and institutional
brokerage and other financial services in Australia and New Zealand. In
exchange, E*TRADE Group said it will reduce operational
costs through the transfer of its current technology maintenance and
development obligation to E*TRADE Australia.

“This agreement demonstrates our confidence in the ability of E*TRADE
Australia to advance E*TRADE’s global brand in these key
international markets,” said Jarrett Lilien, chief brokerage officer and
managing director Asia-Pacific and Latin America, E*TRADE
Group. “The continuing success of E*TRADE Australia in meeting the needs of
our retail households will be enhanced by the ability to
now serve institutional clients under the E*TRADE brand, further integrating
our global offering and enhancing revenue growth
potential. Our commitment to our global growth strategy differentiates us
from competitors who are withdrawing from many of these
key markets.”

E*TRADE Group said it plans to use the stake to pursue opportunities to
cross-sell international accounts with U.S.
dollar-denominated products. It also hopes to “generate greater share of
wallet” from existing Australian retail account-holders by
expanding trading access on cross border markets.

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