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American Express Group Takes Stake in Softbank/Cognotec Venture

American Express Travel Related Services has taken a minority stake in Forexbank, and will lend its marketing expertise to the new venture. Forexbank was recently set up by Japanese software house, Softbank, and Dublin-based Cognotec, to jointly market Cognotec’s Internet-based FX and money market trading platform, AutoDeal LITE, to customers in Japan and Korea.

Softbank, one of the leading global investors in Internet-oriented companies and technology, owns a majority stake in Forexbank, while Cognotec, also a shareholder, provides the e-commerce platform.

’The rapid expansion of e-commerce in Japan, together with the liberalisation of the Japanese financial market is increasing demand for foreign currencies to pay for non-Japanese securities and mutual funds, as well as other goods bought via the Internet from outside the country,’ says a statement.

AutoDeal LITE is an Internet version of Cognotec’s flagship AutoDealing product, a corporate FX and money market dealing system that connects banks with their branches and corporate customers. The Internet capability means that the need for costly hardware installations is removed, because customers can access the product from a desktop PC.

In June, Softbank announced it would create a Japanese version of the US screen-based equity trading market in a deal with the National Association of Securities Dealers, parent of Nasdaq.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />

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