IG eyes turbulence after revenues rise

SPREADBETTING and derivatives specialist IG Group is eyeing an uptick in trading activity as the prospect of further government debt woe in the Eurozone looms.

Chief executive Tim Howkins said he was “quite gloomy” about the outlook for global equity markets given the need to gradually withdraw fiscal props in the wake of 2008’s financial collapse.

Howkins told City A.M.: “Particularly there’s a degree of burying heads in the sand about how serious the sovereign debt issue could be in Europe. There’s a genuine possibility of another banking crisis.”

Greece would have severe difficulties trying to impose austerity measures in the fact of popular discontent, he said. Howkins acknowledged the turbulence would be harmful for long-only investors, but added: “If you did see a crash it would be a busy period for us, at least in the short term.”

His comments came as IG revealed a 16 per cent rise in fiscal first quarter revenue to £79m, driven by higher business volumes in the UK, Europe, Singapore and Australia. Sales in the UK grew by 8.5 per cent to account for more than half the total.