E*Trade Japan Records Report Q2 Profit, Leads Industry (ET, NMR)

Includes: ETFC, NMR
by: Steven Towns

Reuters coverage of E*Trade Japan's earnings shows that Japan's leading on-line brokerage in terms of customer accounts and assets recorded a three-fold increase in quarterly profits for the second quarter ended Sept. 30th, compared to last year.

E*Trade Japan reported a net profit of 3.49 billion yen (US$30.32 million) for the second quarter, compared to 1.21 billion yen last year (US$10.4 million).

E*Trade Japan is striving to become a household name by beating competitors on price. Its fees of 472 yen (US$4.10) per trade are less than 20% of the minimum fees charged by Japan's leading full-service brokerage Nomura Holdings (ticker: NMR).

So far its strategy of attracting customers by offering the lowest fees is working. E*Trade Japan's number of customer accounts eclipsed 800,000 this month and has doubled in the past two years. It has gained a 3% increase in market share to 23.2% over last year. Its closest rivals are Rakuten Securities, an unlisted unit of Rakuten Inc (Tokyo Stock Exchange ticker: 4755) and Matsui Securities (TSE ticker: 8268), at 10.9% and 10.7% respectively. Nomura plans to offer on-line brokerage and related financial services next year.

E*Trade Japan's shares (TSE ticker: 8701) closed Wednesday in Japan up by over 5%.