Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has acquired a 10 per cent stake in Boom Securities for US$8 million as part of its regional expansion strategy. 'On-line broking is an important component of ANZ's eAsia strategy,' ANZ head of international Elmer Funke Kupper said. 'It is the pivotal application from which the development and on-line delivery of other products and services becomes possible.' ANZ would use the Boom Securities stake to help expand its e-commerce business in Asia, Mr Kupper said. He said Boom Securities had a brand presence in the region. ANZ is Australia's fourth-largest bank with more than four million customers in Australasia and Asia-Pacific. Boom was established in 1997. Its shareholders include the founder of US-based on-line investment bank WR Hambrecht & Co, Bill Hambrecht, venture capital company J.F. Shea Ventures and local Chinese medicine-maker the Eu family. Mark Duff, managing director of Boom, said the firm had 'thousands of active clients' throughout the region. Due to continuous re-investment, the firm had yet to make a profit, Mr Duff said. He said that in addition to ANZ's investment, Boom also raised another US$8 million to fund expansion and upgrade its system. After ANZ's investment, the firm will extend its trading service to Japan. Boom provides trading services for Hong Kong, Singapore and US shares and SAR mutual funds. The company said that it planned to offer a new range of services including margin trading facilities. It also was seeking additional alliances with information service providers in the region.