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.com, 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.com is one of India's largest brokerage firms with approximately 1.3 million customers. Through the agreement with Penson, ICICIDirect.com'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.com 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.com, and we look forward to serving their customers," said Mr. Son.
About Penson Worldwide: www.penson.com
The Penson Worldwide group of companies provides execution, clearing, custody, settlement and technology infrastructure products and services to financial services firms and others servicing the global financial services industry. The Penson Worldwide group of companies includes Penson Financial Services, Inc., Penson Financial Services Canada Inc., Penson Financial Services Ltd., Nexa Technologies, Inc., Penson GHCO and Penson Asia Limited, among other companies. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Penson has served the clearing needs of all types of broker/dealers since 1995. Penson is the Flexible Choice in Global Financial Services.
Penson Financial Services, Inc. is a member of the American Stock Exchange, Chicago Stock Exchange, FINRA, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, OneChicago, the International Securities Exchange, the NYSE Arca Exchange, the Options Clearing Corp, the MSRB, NSCC, ICMA, DTC, Euroclear, SIPC and is a participant of the Boston Options Exchange (BOX). Penson Financial Services Canada Inc. is a participating organization with the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Montreal Exchange, the CNQ Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange, is regulated by the Investment Dealers Association of Canada, and is a member of the CIPF. Penson Financial Services, Ltd. is a member of the London Stock Exchange and is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Penson GHCO is a registered Futures Commission Merchant and clearing member at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Chicago Board of Trade, London International Financial Futures Exchange, and ICE Futures.