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Rolet plans to take LSE on the offensive

THE LONDON Stock Exchange&rsquo;s new chief executive Xavier Rolet yesterday said that he would consider acquisitions as part of an aggressive push to regain market share.<br /><br />Rolet, who was facing analysts for the first time since taking over the role in May, said that the LSE intended to be &ldquo;offensive, not defensive&rdquo; in the fight against new multi-lateral trading facilities (MTFs) such as Chi-X and Turquoise. <br /><br />The former Lehman Brothers banker said that his plans include adapting units from within Borsa Italiana &ndash; which the exchange acquired two years ago &ndash; to push into post-trade services and derivatives in the UK.<br /><br />He highlighted potential cost-savings through introducing Borsa Italiana&rsquo;s clearing house, CC&amp;G, into the UK market, saying that the &ldquo;cost of clearing UK equities is today the number one impediment to building back our market share&rdquo;.<br /><br />The LSE also confirmed that it had cut 133 staff, or 12 per cent of its workforce, as part of the cost-cutting exercise.<br /><br />The comments came as the exchange reported that it has experienced a slump of 43 per cent in the average daily value traded in the five months to the end of August.<br /><br />MTFs have been able to grow market share of UK equity trading &ndash; collectively 32 per cent in September, compared to 19 per cent a year earlier &ndash; through offering cheaper tariffs. LSE&rsquo;s share dropped to 63 per cent to 78 per cent in the same period.<br /><br />LSE chief financial officer Doug Webb said the group had &pound;300m of debt facilities for potential deals, without specifying any targets.<br />