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New On-Line Share Trading Offers Exchange Merger Benefits

Press Release by Access Brokerage

Wednesday, February 28th 2001, 12:52PM

A new electronic Trans Tasman share trading service, launched in Wellington today, will deliver similar benefits to those promised by the failed merger between the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges.

Access Brokerage has teamed up with international electronic share trader E*TRADE to offer New Zealand investors on-line trading on both the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges.

"Access is delighted to have a strategic alliance with E*TRADE Australia," Access chairman Bill Garlick said.

Access Brokerage clients will be able to buy and sell on-line in New Zealand and Australia for a flat fee of $29.50 in each respective currency, using a New Zealand dollar account (Australian trades over $A25,000 will be charged 0.2 percent to cover the ASX scale charges).

The on-line traders will also enjoy attractive foreign exchange rates for Trans Tasman trades and receive market information about companies listed on both exchanges.

"Both Access brokerage and E*TRADE have jointly customised the technology needed to bring the two markets together within the Access web site. The new on-line service brings the future forward for our clients," Mr Garlick said. "The failure to merge the two exchanges is irrelevant to them."

"When we started in 1986 we attracted the mums and dads of the New Zealand investment scene. In those days they were looking for a share broker who could be relied on to answer the phone and deliver an efficient cost-effective service.

"Although our client base has broadened since those days, we still cater for the smaller investor, who can now enjoy the benefits of simple Trans Tasman trading."

Mr Garlick said Access had made a very significant investment in technology on this side of the Tasman and E*TRADE had done the same in Australia.

Since Access introduced electronic trading on the NZSE 18 months ago, it had completed over $500 million dollars worth of business through its web site, making it the number one on-line share broker on the NZSE.

Mr Garlick predicted that within 18 months Access clients would be completing more transactions across the Tasman than in New Zealand.

"It's a much bigger market. We have around 140 New Zealand companies listed on the NZSE, compared with around 2000 in Australia covering a much wider range of activities and industry sectors."

Mr Garlick said technology had been the driver for lower margins and greater efficiencies within the share broking industry in New Zealand and this had caused a major shakeout.

"We continue to be New Zealand owned and operated and this move allows us to side-step some of the frenetic repositioning going on in the broking community at the moment. It means we can keep on doing what we've done for years, using the same name and providing the same high level of service," Mr Garlick said.

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