JP Morgan Chase and PCCW pull plug on HK online broker 2Cube

JP Morgan Chase and PCCW pull plug on HK online broker 2Cube

JP Morgan Chase and Hong Kong telco Pacific Century Cyberworks have pulled the plug on their online brokerage joint venture 2Cube.

2Cube has agreed to sell its 8000 accounts - of which 4600 are active - to E*Trade.

"Current market conditions are such that it is not possible to provide a reasonable return to shareholders, thus closure of 2cube was necessary," PCCW and JP Morgan said in a joint statement.

E*Trade, which opened its first stand-alone operation in Hong Kong in November, says the transaction will enable it to add a group of highly engaged and profitable households to its customer base.

"While many of our global competitors are scaling back and exiting markets, we remain committed to our global brand. We see this commitment as an important source of future growth and a differentiator between E*Trade and its competition," says Jarrett Lilien, chief brokerage officer and managing director Asia-Pacific and Latin America, E*Trade Group.

The move comes a week after Charles Schwab said it would close it Japanase and Australian broking operations, and Merrill Lynch and HSBC scaled back their ambitions for wealth management joint venture, MLHSBC.

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