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ANZ Investment in Boom.com

Document date:  Mon 22 May 2000
Published:  Mon 22 May 2000 14:45:23
Document No:  162359
Document part:  A
Market Flag:  Y
Classification:  Asset Acquisition

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LI      2000-05-22  ASX-SIGNAL-G

HOMEX - Melbourne                                                     

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As part of its e-Commerce strategy for the Asia Pacific region,
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) today announced
a US$8 million strategic investment in the Hong Kong based online
discount stockbroker, BOOM.COM, which represents 10% of the company
and forms part of their US$16 million capital raising.

ANZ joins Silicon Valley pioneer Mr Bill Hambrecht from US based
online investment bank W R Hambrecht & Co, venture capital firm JF
Shea Ventures, Hong Kong's Eu family, and the firm's management and
employees as shareholders of BOOM.COM.

The new working capital and business synergies derived from ANZ's
investment will enable BOOM.COM to embark on an expansion programme
to deliver a broader range of services and financial products, plus
offer retail investors one-stop access to markets across Asia and the
United States.

"We have always been very focused on assembling investors that offer
much more than just piles of cash to our firm," said Mr Mark B. Duff,
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of BOOM.COM. "This
development is in keeping with our business practice of working with
experienced partners to build a substantial financial institution."

According to Mr Duff, ANZ will play an ongoing role in the
development of BOOM.COM, providing world-class financial, investment
and online banking expertise to help BOOM.COM accelerate BOOM.COM's
momentum in the personal financial services industry.

ANZ Head of International, Mr Elmer Funke Kupper said the investment
in BOOM.COM was part of ANZ's strategy to actively develop e-Commerce
initiatives in Asia that provide access to attractive now customers
in key Asian markets.

"Online broking is an important component of ANZ's eAsia strategy. It
is a pivotal application from which the development and online
delivery of other products and services becomes possible," he said.

"BOOM.COM has established itself as a leading online broking service,
with a strong brand and quality service proposition, providing a
strong foundation from which to expand into other markets in the
region," Mr Funke Kupper said.

BOOM.COM has already formulated plans for a range of new services and
offerings including margin trading facility and additional alliances
with information services in Asia.

"One of the first initiatives of this relationship will be an
expansion plan across the Asia Pacific region, offering our customers
the ability to buy and sell stocks on virtually every exchange in the
region," Mr Duff said.

"The first exchange to be added to the BOOM.COM system will be
Singapore, followed quickly by the ASEAN markets and Japan. Over the
next 12 months we hope to sweep through the rest of Asia. This will
enable BOOM to demonstrate its commitment to enabling the retail
investor by leveraging Web technology," he said.

ANZ's investment is subject to completion of documentation and
standard conditions.

For media enquiries, contact:

Louisa Wu (BOOM.COM): 
Tel: (852) 2255 8618; email: louisa@boomhq.com

Brian Paterson (Firebrand); 
Tel; (852) 2122 9762, fax: (852) 2526 2884; 
email: brian@firebrand.com.hk 

Michelle Gibbings (Media Relations Manager, ANZ): 
Tel: (613) 9273 6190 or 0409-655 551; 
email: gibbingm@anz.com