Goldman targets Net investors

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The Independent Online

Europe's growing army of online investors are the target of a new global equity trading product called PrimeAccess which powerhouse US investment bank Goldman Sachs launched yesterday.

Europe's growing army of online investors are the target of a new global equity trading product called PrimeAccess which powerhouse US investment bank Goldman Sachs launched yesterday.

The broking platform will be offered to online brokers across Europe. Goldman has signed up Direkt Anlage Bank, a major online bank in Germany, which is home to about 54 per cent of Europe's 2.9 million online investors. Talks with several UK brokers with online services, thought to include Barclays Stockbrokers, NatWest Stockbrokers, are underway. Services are expected to begin by year-end.

Wiet Pot, Goldman's co chief operating officer, equities, said: "We see strong demand for a new cost effective service that can combine execution, settlement and custody in international equities to online brokers and their customers."

Goldman's embrace of the internet will up the pressure on brokerages with extensive retail sales operations. The move will help Goldman gain placing power to rival multi-branch brokers such as Merrill Lynch, the world's biggest broking firm.

PrimeAccess will offer online investors research reports as well as access to selected capital market offerings lead managed by Goldman. The US bank is the global leader in equity underwriting.The Goldman initiative comes as Investin Securities, a US on-line broker with operations here, gears up for the November launch of its pan-European internet trading service. Until now the firm has offered UK retail investors trading in US markets.

Chris Hollands, Investin's director of business development, said: "We are seeing an appetite for UK investors for Nasdaq stocks. There are now a lot of volatile and liquid tech stocks in Europe, and we expect to see that interest transfer into Europe."

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