Schwab, ecorp to Introduce Australia Brokerage

Bolstering its global brokerage empire, Charles Schwab Corp. Monday forged a partnership with local Internet player ecorp Ltd. to bring an online trading joint venture to Australia.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The new brokerage expected to open for business in the first quarter of next year. The new company will offer online trading for Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) trades as well as office-based brokerage services in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth.

The venture will initially operate under the banner of ShareTrade Australian Stockbroking, a subsidiary of the newly-created e-corp subsidiary Online Broker Holdings Ltd. Schwab will acquire 50 percent of Online Broker Holdings, but once ShareTrade ramps up to the launch, the brokerage will be renamed Charles Schwab Australia.

Lynnda Sarinske, a senior vice president at Schwab (SCH), will relocate to lead the company as its chief executive officer.

Charles R. Schwab, chairman and co-CEO of The Charles Schwab Corp., also hinted the company would like to extend its newfound alliance with Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd. (PBL), the media house which owns 80 percent of ecorp. Schwab expects that PBL could add marketing momentum and consumer expertise to the venture.

Schwab previously expanded its services to the U.K., Hong
Kong, Canada, and Japan, as well as a Spanish language service based in Miami.

ecorp’s regional Net interests included the recently launched eBay joint venture for the Australia and New Zealand markets, Microsoft JV portal nineMSN, ticketing company Ticketek, and mortgage service Wizard Mortgage Corp.

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