Online brokerage looks to buy 100% of FIT

Monday, March 7, 2011 - the largest online transaction portal in Argentina - has purchased 10% of Chilean brokerage FIT Corredores de Bolsa and aims to take full control within three years, Santiago newspaper El Mercurio quoted the former's CEO, Facundo Garretón, as saying.

"In Argentina, 15% of stock market transactions are done online; in Brazil, 30% of [the São Paulo bourse] Bovespa are done in the same way. But in Chile, only 3.5% of the deals are done over a web platform," he said. "There is an enormous growth potential there."

The plan is to purchase 41% of FIT in the short term and 100% in three years, according to the executive. However, he did not reveal the price paid for the 10% purchase of the Chilean company.

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Garretón founded InvertirOnline in 1999 and has been mulling purchasing an online brokerage in Chile since 2009. The company also has offices in Colombia and Peru, and its website receives 1mn visitors a month and has 60,000 users, who carry out more than 250,000 transactions a year.