Study: 14M Europeans to Buy Stock Online by 2004

STOCKHOLM (01/25/2000) - Europeans are on their way to embrace Internet-based stock trading, with German and Nordic consumers leading the way, Forrester Research BV said today, announcing the results from a new study.

By 2004, around 14 million Europeans will have signed up for online brokerage accounts allowing them to buy and sell shares over the Internet, up from today's 1.3 million accounts, the market researcher said in a statement presenting the highlights from a report titled "Online Trading Skyrockets In Europe."

Germany, Europe's largest market for online stock trading, will see the number of people trading stock over the Internet increase from 550,000 today to 3.5 million by 2004, according to Forrester estimates. But the highest concentration of online traders in Europe is to be found in the Nordic countries, where 30 percent of the overall population own stock and 10 percent already have started trading online. In Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, no fewer than 3.1 million people will have online brokerage accounts by 2004, despite a total population of only 21 million, Forrester predicted.

For the U.K. and France, meanwhile, it will take some four years to start closing the gap with Germany.

Online brokerages, however, need to prepare for the arrival of mainstream investors to the world of online trading by offering personalized financial advice, or risk getting caught up in a price war with their many competitors, Forrester said.

Forrester Research BV, in Amsterdam, is the European arm of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based research company that can be reached via the Web at http://www.forrester.com/.

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