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Softbank buys Japanese broker for E+Trade

A licence, Stock Exchange membership and a loss-making history...

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Softbank, the Japanese company that bought you Ziff-Davis publishing and Comdex, is to buy a Japanese brokerage to support its push into electronic stock trading. Earlier this year Softbank teamed up with E+Trade Group to found E+Trade in Japan. The Japanese E+Trade company, which is 58 per cent owned by Softbank, will operate the brokerage, Osawa Securities, which will now be known as E+Trade Securities. It will continue to operate conventionally, but brings E+Trade a licence, membership of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and experience. Internet brokerage services will begin before the end of the year, and Softbank intends to expand online trading into other areas, including insurance. Osawa was purchased as a 'going concern,' but curiously has lost money for the last seven years, dropping $2 million most recently. No doubt Softbank knows what it's doing. ® Click for more stories

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