Mexican investment platform Flink to expand to Colombia this year

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MEXICO CITY, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Mexican investment platform Flink will begin operating in Colombia in June or July as part of its Latin America expansion plan, Chief Executive Sergio Jimenez said on Thursday.

The platform, which enables subscribers to invest in fractions of shares of U.S. listed companies, will also add Mexican debt instruments, like state bonds, to diversify its investment portfolio, Jimenez said.

Flink caters to first-time investors who can get started with a minimum of 30 pesos ($1.46).

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About 300,000 Mexicans had investment accounts in 2019, or well under 1% of the population, according to company data.

Flink has 1.6 million subscribers and aims to reach 4 million in 2022.

"The average ticket for newcomers is at $1 or $2, but it reaches $32 in the fourth month. People get confident when they understand the market," said Jimenez.

The company decided to launch the platform with U.S.-listed companies to give clients "the opportunity to invest in fractional shares." The enterprises abroad are more attractive to customers, Jimenez said.

Data shared by Flink shows that Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Amazon.com Inc are the companies in which users invested the most in the last 12 months.

Flink was conceived as a way to provide digital banking solutions, but the company later decided "to focus on giving people access to the markets," said Jimenez.

Flink is working with regulators to modernize Mexico's brokerage system. One of the main obstacles to market access is that Mexico's legal framework does not allow digital onboarding to brokerages, but it should soon, Jimenez said.

Investors need to go physically to a brokerage to create investment accounts, he said.

Flink is also eyeing countries like Peru, Chile and Argentina for expansion, and aims to "work around regulations to land more investment opportunities for its users," said Jimenez.

($1 = 20.5550 Mexican pesos)

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Reporting by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Richard Chang

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