E-Trade Group Inc. announced Tuesday that it had agreed with Instinet Corp. to offer individual investors after-hours trading.

The service will give the on-line brokerage's customers the ability to trade after the close of markets, traditionally the domain of institutional investors. The offering will become available in September.

It will link E-Trade's on-line customers to the after-hours market maintained by Instinet, the largest of the electronic communications networks, or ECNs. E-Trade customers will be able to trade between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. eastern standard time. Twenty million shares of stock trade during those hours on Instinet, which is wholly owned by Reuters Group PLC.

"We've got over 1.3 million customers who told us what they want is anytime, anywhere, any device access," said Christos M. Kotsakos, chairman and chief executive officer of E-Trade.

"We thought what we would do for the first time is to connect the retail investor with the institutional investor after hours."

Datek Online reportedly is the only network currently offering after-hours trading for retail investors.Wit Capital Corp. said this month that it would operate an after-hours trading platform for visitors to America Online's Personal Finance Channel beginning in November. - Ross Snel

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