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Spanish online broker house InvertirOnline.com is aiming for Chile to represent 40% of its revenues in Latin America - excluding Mexico and Brazil - over the next few years after entering the country by purchasing 10% of Santiago-based brokerage FIT Corredores de Bolsa, company CEO Facundo Garretón told BNamericas.
Earlier this week, InvertirOnline.com announced it would purchase an additional 90% of FIT over the next three years. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
While capital markets in Chile are much more developed than in most other Latin American countries, online trading has lagged behind. Last year, less than 3.5% of transactions on the Santiago stock exchange were carried out online, compared with 35% in Brazil, according to Garretón.
InvertirOnline.com will continue serving FIT's customers, but will also focus on tapping a new segment of 25 to 45-year-old individuals who frequently use the internet, he said.
"In Chile, just as in the rest of Latin America, the percentage of the population that actively trades on the stock market is low, and the only way to increase that percentage is by educating people and lowering fees," Garretón said.
"Our mission is to democratize financial services. So we will educate potential customers on how to make more money investing in stocks and showing them there are alternatives to real estate, fixed-term deposits or investment funds," he said.
InvertirOnline.com has some 250,000 customers in Latin America, where it also operates in Argentina, Peru and Colombia.