The lucky few that gain from stock falls

IG Group is one of the few to emerge pleased from the turbulence in financial markets.

The spread-better and contracts-for-difference trader said it saw the same number of trades in the first two weeks of August alone as in the whole of August last year, as client took time out from their holidays to cash in on the exceptional volatility.

That could add £20m to its second-quarter sales this year – a boon at a time when most investors have their heads in their hands.

So volatility is clearly good for some firms, but which others?

Trading firms often feel the benefit from these market conditions. Interdealer brokers such as Icap and MF Global, and spread-betters such as IG and Capital Spreads attract clients keen to benefit from betting on large price moves in markets.

But traders aren’t the only ones that gain. Amid the flight to safety that has seen panic selling of stocks and buying of haven investments, gold miners have proved a surprise target. While most miners have been shunned, the record price of gold means the companies mining the metal have also been in demand.

On the FTSE 100, Randgold Resources and Fresnillo are two that reflect this trend – Randgold has jumped 24 per cent since the start of August alone.

One other set of companies likely to gain from the market mess are those eyeing takeovers at present.

Whether it is Melrose bidding for Charter International or Investec looking to buy finance group Evolution, they may find the target’s shareholders happy to take a lower offer upfront rather than watch their stake lose yet more value.