Brief: Softbank and Lehman close E-Bond venture

Brief: Softbank and Lehman close E-Bond venture

E-Bond, a 60/40 joint venture between Softbank and Lehman Brothers, has put its domain name and Web site up for sale after it failed to attract sufficient backing among its target community of Japanese brokerages.

The venture opened for business in late January and had set a target of 100 brokerage customers within a year. By the end of last week, E-Bond had signed up only 10 clients and failed to win over any of the big domestic trading houses.

E-Bond is one of a host of electronic trading networks which have been set up to service the Japanese bond trading business. The shut-down may signal the start of a more general shakeout and period of consolidation among rival vehicles for online liquidity.

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