IDC: Online Stock Trading Takes Off in Europe

STOCKHOLM (05/12/2000) - Europe's online trading scene is set for rapid growth, as more than two million Europeans this year alone are expected to open accounts for buying and selling shares over the Internet.

Throughout Europe, the number of online trading accounts is expected to reach 4.4 million by the end of this year, up from 1.85 million accounts by the end of 1999, according to the latest estimates from market researcher International Data Corp. (IDC).

By 2003, the number of online accounts in Europe is expected to have grown to 16.8 million, IDC said in a statement issued yesterday.

Despite a reputation for being conservative financial investors, Germans have embraced online discount brokering with a surprising fervor, IDC said. As a result, Germany is expected to see faster growth in online trading than other European countries.

Sweden will also see rapid growth, particularly among retail investors, while the U.K. market has been surprisingly slow to develop, despite that country boasting the largest number of online brokers in Europe, IDC said.

Online trading is also gaining in popularity in other European markets, including France, Italy and Switzerland.

IDC is a subsidiary of International Data Group Inc., the parent company of the IDG News Service.

IDC, in Framingham, Massachusetts, can be reached at +1-508-872-8200, or via the Web at http://www.idc.com/.

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