UPDATE: CBA encompasses US in online trading

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has extended its online trading service to include US share trading.

In addition, the bank has also launched a new online information service about the US share market and investing in US shares.

Paul Rickard, director at Commonwealth Securities, CBA's retail stockbroking arm, said the new service, which has been operating for a few days, is an extension of ComSec's foreign investment services.

Rickard said the online service will operate as a 24-hour service during US trading days and will allow investors to trade shares on the New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq.

The service is restricted to Australian residents and allows users to trade shares in Australian dollars, Rickard said. "The service gives more Australians the ability to diversify portfolios by easy access to other markets."

According to Rickard, the US arm of ComSec's online trading service has taken around one year to establish. "It's been quite an investment to take it to this point."

The customer interface of the service is "very similar" to ComSec's Australian online service, but the actual systems running the service are quite different. "We need to interface with our partners in the US . . . because we are actually trading through US market brokers," he said.

Rickard said that existing customers wanting to use the service will have to complete a separate registration process. In addition, investors must comply with Internet Trading Rules and International Securities Rules posted on ComSec's Website. The guidelines have been developed by ComSec but are based on rules that apply in the market.

Content partners for the US Shares Online service include AP Online, UPI, Business Wire, PR News Wire and M2 Communications and Stockpoint will provide US market information.

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