CLOSE Brothers yesterday said its market-making division Winterflood Securities enjoyed better progress in its first quarter as investors returned to buying junior stock market listed companies.
Winterflood, one of the divisions in Close’s three-pronged set-up that also includes banking and asset management, saw income per bargain and the average number of bargains per day – key measures of the division’s performance – increase in the three months ending October.
Elsewhere, the banking arm increased its loan book by three per cent to £4.8bn and its fund management division also saw a three per cent boost to assets under management to £9.3bn.
“Winterflood has maintained its market leading position and is well placed to benefit if current market conditions are sustained throughout the year,” Close, which is listed on the FTSE 250, said in a statement.
The inclusion of Alternative Investment Market listed stocks into savers’ ISAs from August onwards are likely to have benefited Winterflood, Shore Capital analyst Gary Greenwood said. Shares in Close, led by boss Preben Prebensen, closed up 1.93 per cent yesterday.