E*Trade swoops on Irish firm

Takes first steps toward setting up international trading group

Electronic trading took a step toward becoming more commonplace as online brokers E*Trade bought Irish clearing and settlement company, TIR Holdings for $122 million in stock. It is a daring move for the US company and, according to today's FT, marks an important step in building a cross-border electronic trade network. While E*Trade does have offices outside the US, they have thus far focussed on local markets. The alliance with TIR will allow an international trading network to be established, subject to regulatory approval. E*Trade is planning to make the US stock market accessible to its foreign customers inside 12 months, with all its operations linking up in the next three to five years. If approved, the deal could win a slice of the territory mostly inhabited the big institutions. ®

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