Softbank, Lehman Form Online Bond Trading JV

TOKYO (01/27/2000) - Softbank Finance Corp., a unit of Japan's Softbank Corp., and the investment bank Lehman Brothers today announced the formation of a joint venture company to facilitate trading of Japanese government bonds online.

The venture, called E-Bond Securities Co., is 60 percent owned by the Softbank unit, and 40 percent owned by Lehman Brothers, according to a joint statement from the companies.

Operations are planned to begin late in the second quarter of this year and the company will operate from a Web site at http://www.e-bond.co.jp/.

E-Bond Securities will base its service on a proprietary trading system and handle mainly bonds in which trading is light such as municipal and corporate bonds and bank debentures.

It joins a growing line-up of online financial services companies being formed by Softbank with partners. The company already offers online securities trading through E-Trade Japan and has also announced plans to offer online foreign exchange trading in addition to consumer loan and insurance services.

Softbank Finance, in Tokyo, is online at http://www.softbank.co.jp/. Lehman Brothers, in New York, is online at http://www.lehman.com/.

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