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Foreign Exchange

Spencer cashes after Icap’s great year

We’ve all known it for years: brokers don’t really care which way an asset is moving. Their only desire is that prices change, so they can match up buyers and sellers. Equities are arguably the only exception, but in my view that’s a rigged, one-way market. For a diversified inter-dealer-broker company like Icap, if one market is quiet, the likelihood is another will be whacking about. So for most of the time the sun is shining as far as Icap is concerned. This appears to be very much the case for the year ended March 2009.

The company reports that its revenue rose 23% to a record £1.6 trillion, resulting in a profit before tax of £281 million. This figure was boosted by the fact that the majority of the company’s revenue is in USD, which it hedged sensibly with the end result of a £42 million boost to its operating profit.

Naturally Michael Spencer, Icap’s CEO, is upbeat about the numbers. “These are resilient results against the backdrop of the most extraordinary financial upheavals experienced across the globe during the past 12 months... We have consolidated our position as the leading global intermediary in the wholesale over-the-counter markets by a clear margin.

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