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KAS Bank steps closer to European expansion

NETHERLANDS - KAS Bank, the Dutch securities services bank, has said it is now in talks with European institutions over possible joint ventures.

The bank announced earlier this year it would actively look for acquisitions and joint ventures in Western Europe to further strengthen its position.

"We have concluded the exploration phase and are now in talks with a few parties," said Michiel Janssen, secretary to KAS Bank's managing board.

He declined to name which institutions, but commented: "Our strategy of consolidation in Europe as a pure player in the wholesale securities services business is key in the process."

He added KAS Bank focuses on custody portfolios and administration in the value-added business.

The company has already expanded its institutional position with the recent launch of its Frankfurt office.

In January, the firm's chairman Albert Röell said despite German clients already using KAS Bank's system, "we found the need to be closer to our customers," said Röell in London last night, adding "we need Germans to hunt Germans".

The move followed the firm's acquisition of the depot bank status in June last year, which allows KAS Bank to act as depot bank for brokers  trading via the Xontro system, an electronic order routing system for the regional stock exchanges in Germany.

Also, Röell said it is "crucial for our German broker market that we are able to provide the proper links".

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