Broker ICAP’s profits slashed by Libor fine

Tim Wallace
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PROFITS at ICAP fell by more than 40 per cent in the first half of the year, the broker reported yesterday, thanks to a £54m Libor fine.

Pre-tax profit came in at £40m, down from £68m in the same six-month period of last year.

But the underlying picture was stronger – operating profits increased six per cent to £153m, while revenues held steady, down just one per cent at £736m.

ICAP was fined £54m by UK and US regulators in September, while three of its former staff are facing criminal investigations.

However the firm said it does not believe it will be involved in the foreign exchange rate rigging probes.

Chief executive Michael Spencer splashed out in the effort to reassure markets the broker is back on track, buying an additional 500,000 shares in the company.

He said ICAP’s new swap execution facility (SEF) represents a key step in expanding into new markets and building the group’s capabilities.

“The launch of our SEF in October 2013 was an important milestone and early signs are promising,” Spencer said. “We are working closely with our customers to help them through the transition to this new trading environment and are pleased with the positive feedback we have received so far.”

ICAP’s shares rose 4.1 per cent yesterday to 391.8p.