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BNP Paribas announces investment in Archipelago

The BNP Paribas Group, a leader in new technologies, has taken an equity stake in Archipelago LLC through its subsidiary BNP Cooper Neff in the United States.

Archipelago, initially formed as a joint venture with software developer, Townsend Analytics, is one of the original four ECNs (Electronic Communication Network) approved in January 1997 by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The Archipelago trading system provides investors fast, cost-efficient and anonymous access to the market. Its average daily volume has almost tripled since December. On August 9, 1999, Archipelago filed with the SEC to become a national securities exchange.

Other investors in Archipelago include, in particular : E*TRADE, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Instinet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reuters Group, and CNBC.

Gerald D. Putnam, chief executive officer of Archipelago, states, "The investment by the BNP PARIBAS Group provides an excellent opportunity for Archipelago's strategic global expansion."

"The investment decision confirms BNP Paribas' ongoing program to be a leader in new financial technologies," said Robert Cavallaro, Managing Director, BNP Cooper Neff. The BNP PARIBAS Group financial services includes BNPNET, a leader in Internet Retail Banking in France. Their portfolio of services also includes CORTAL, a leader of online brokerage in France and the first European online investment funds service. Banque Directe, another of its services, offers banking by phone and the Internet.