ELECTRONIC data provider I-Net Bridge announced on Wednesday it had entered into an exclusive partnership arrangement with Norwegian technology provider Infront, in a move that brings it into the real-time dealing rooms of banks and other trading clients.

I-Net Bridge has typically operated in the analyst arena rather than the real-time trading space. However, competition has been intensifying with, among others, Australian data provider Iress, which entered the fray in January last year.

The new products on offer, such as technical analysis tools, are likely to appeal to the trader market and, according to I-Net Bridge, bolster the range of products available to the local and African market.

"This is a competitive move for I-Net Bridge," said Barbara Arnold, head of next generation products and marketing at I-Net Bridge.

Infront offers market data and electronic trading solutions to investing institutions, such as unit trusts and pension funds, and sellers of investment services. Its clients are spread across Europe.

Infront’s products were first introduced to the South African market in 2010 in the form of the "See More Markets" solution through Infront’s relationship with Peresys, a local trading systems provider that was bought by Iress last year.

A new I-Net Bridge terminal product, based on the Infront terminal, called I-Net Trader will be released in February.

"We look forward to bolstering the Infront terminal with African and South African content from our extensive databases," said I-Net Bridge MD Anina Morley.

"The combination of in-depth local financial content and excellent service delivery from I-Net with Infront’s proven technology and international market data, provides a compelling solution for South African financial players," said Infront CEO Kristian Nesbak.

I-Net Bridge has a client base of more than 300 leading institutions.

It is 83.3% owned by media and entertainment business Times Media Group. The remainder is held by BDFM, which publishes Business Day and Financial Mail, and is the parent company of Summit TV.