Enter the 21st Century Now and Compete with City Pros in a Multimedia Kiosk
Gosling, Paul, The Independent (London, England)
The Stock Exchange enters the 21st Century next month, when it implements the Crest electronic share trading and settlement system. But punters need not wait until then to trade electronically, with several of the large brokers already offering facilities to trade by home PC or via a multimedia kiosk.
Three brokers, City Deal, ShareLink and Stocktrade, have signed up with Infotrade to offer execution-only share trading. Infotrade, a division of Mitsubishi Corporation, is a business information supplier which sees its future as the computer doorkeeper to a range of personal finance services, including banking and insurance, and also share trading backed up by comprehensive information on company performance that it claims is almost as good as that available to analysts.
Users can obtain immediate information on current prices, as well as a two-year price history, two-year result forecasts, and three-year histories of results, for all quoted companies. The service will gradually expand to cover other big stock exchanges, and provide more historic information. The Infotrade package will also automatically update share portfolio records held on home PCs.
For the regular investor the cost is modest, at pounds 25 to join and pounds 10 a month, and software purchase at pounds 70. Users need a modern IBM-compatible PC, with Windows software, fast modem and CD-ROM drive.
Peter Horne, chief executive of Infotrade, says: "This is the first move Mitsubishi Electric is making into the on-line services industry. A substantial investment is being made into this business with a target of 100,000 private investors in the next four years."
Some brokers see PCs as central to their attempts to expand their client base. Stephen Pinner, managing director of City Deal, explains: "We don't expect it to be a big seller straight away, but as PCs become more common it will be more useful, with other services also being traded over the PC hook." Mr Pinner says back-up facilities are as important as the trading itself.
"Infotrade does allow you to review your portfolio, and you can do your own research. You could ask it, for example, to list every company that pays out over 20p in the pound dividends. I would not now recommend any other software."
Emma Kane, head of investors' services at ShareLink, is also persuaded of the benefits of electronic share trading, including Infotrade. "It is never going to replace phone share dealing, but it is the way of the future," she says. "The problem has been of accessing timely share information. You will now get the same information as the analysts, at a fraction of the cost. It is a service that is going to rapidly increase in use."
But ShareLink is not solely committed to Infotrade, having also signed up with Electronic Share Information for …
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Publication information: Article title: Enter the 21st Century Now and Compete with City Pros in a Multimedia Kiosk. Contributors: Gosling, Paul - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: June 8, 1996. Page number: 28. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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