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Foreign Exchange

Icap: Positively positive

As regular readers of this column will know, I am a small shareholder of Icap. I’d like to be a bigger one, but I won’t bore you with my financial woes. Anyway, I was pleased to see that things are still more than positive at the company.

Commenting on the company’s performance in the first quarter and the future outlook, the company’s chief executive, Michael Spencer, said: “Our positive outlook for the business remains positive.” So that’s positive squared, which must be good, I thought, although I would have preferred him to say: “I’m positive that the stock will positively go more positive, giving Lee Oliver at least one positive return on his pathetic portfolio.”

Daniel Garrod, an analyst at Citi, sounded disappointedly negative though. He described the statement as only a small positive, although perhaps in an attempt to cover all bases, he did reiterate the stock as a buy. Credit Suisse was even less impressed and cut its price target to 560p from 575p. Of course, I’m talking my book, but if analysts are getting negative, it must be time to get positive.

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