London Exchange to offer Internet trading

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The Independent Online
THE LONDON Stock Exchange is to jump on the Internet bandwagon with plans to set up an online trading system.

The LSE is looking at ways of capitalising on the booming market for share dealing over the Net by launching its own web-based facility.

Senior executives of the Exchange are believed to have drawn up proposals to allow private investors to buy and sell equities on londonstockexchange.com - the bourse's official website.

The authorities are keen to emphasise that the LSE will only act as a conduit between investors and their brokers and will not take any active part in the share dealings.

Under the draft plans, investors logging on to the site would be connected to their broker of choice and would be able to trade equities directly on to the LSE's order book. According to its supporters, the Exchange's plan will be the UK's first comprehensive web-based dealing facility.

Several brokers such as Charles Schwab and DLJ already offer online trading. However, under these systems, the broker still has to place an order through a traditional phone line. Under the LSE's proposal, brokers will be able to place the order with the Exchange via the web.

In a separate move, the Stock Exchange is believed to be looking at launching one or more "markets" dedicate to particular types of stocks. The LSE wants to replicate the extraordinary success of its techMark for high- technology companies by setting up other "special interest" markets.

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