Penson Financial Services, Inc., the U.S. broker-dealer and clearing services subsidiary of Penson Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ: PNSN), announced today that it has begun providing access to U.S. stock and stock options markets for customers of ICICIDirect, the stock broker affiliate of India’s second largest bank, ICICI Bank, under a recently signed clearing services agreement.
“This non-exclusive agreement is Penson’s first with an Indian stock brokerage,” said Daniel P. Son, president of Penson Worldwide, Inc., “and follows regulatory changes in India that allow investors more access to offshore markets.” Recently the Reserve Bank of India increased the annual individual ceiling for citizens of India to remit money overseas from $100,000 to $200,000, offering opportunities to invest in stocks and other financial products.
ICICIDirect is one of India’s largest brokerage firms with approximately 1.3 million customers. Through the agreement with Penson, ICICIDirect’s customers now have access to trading stocks listed on the NYSE, Nasdaq and American Stock Exchange markets, as well as stock options and index options listed on US equity options exchanges.
“We are pleased to see ICICIDirect become the first online firm to offer citizens of India greater access to the US markets,” said Mark Munoz, President of Penson Asia Limited, a Penson Worldwide subsidiary based in Hong Kong. “Our unique technology coupled with our US execution and clearing services allows India’s brokerage firms more flexibility and options for their customers.”
“As one of the leading clearing providers in the United States, Penson Financial Services is delighted to enter into this agreement with ICICIDirect, and we look forward to serving their customers,” said Mr. Son.
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