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April 30, 2001

The Sky's the Limit

By Staff Reports

The European market for online brokerage grew 13 percent in the fourth quarter to 3.74 million accounts, according to a report by J.P. Morgan analysts Huw van Steenis and Christin Ossig.

In the fourth quarter, Italy grew 24 percent to 230,000 accounts, France grew 17 percent to 415,000 accounts, the U.K. grew 12 percent to 280,000 and Germany grew 10 percent to 1.9 million accounts

The report, which was published earlier this year, added: "Overall our estimates for 2000 suggest that Italy almost sextupled from 40,000 accounts, the United Kingdom quadrupled from 70,000, France tripled from 140,000 accounts and Germany, the largest market, grew 150 percent from 800,000 accounts."

The most interesting aspect, says the report, is that a greater proportion of growth in the fourth quarter appeared to come from the migration of offline accounts online.