ICAP plc (IAP.L), the world's premier interdealer broker and supplier of post-trade services, has conducted a broad ranging strategic review of its full service agency cash equities business. As a result of the review ICAP will no longer offer an integrated full service agency cash equities business, including research, in Europe and Asia. Currently these businesses employ 114 staff who will be affected by this decision.
ICAP will continue to build and develop its long standing and successful execution only cash equities business in London and to offer anonymous block trading through BlockCross, its pan-European multilateral trading facility. ICAP also remains strongly committed to growing its Brazilian and US cash equities execution businesses as well as its electronic retail business in Brazil.
The review will have no effect on ICAP's global equity derivatives businesses, including the Structured Equity Desk and businesses trading as Link or Linkbrokers.
Michael Spencer, ICAP's Chief Executive Officer, said "ICAP is an innovative company and we have made a series of significant investments during the past ten years, which have successfully expanded and diversified our business. However, while a number of our cash equities businesses are performing well, the expansion into full service agency cash equities in Europe and Asia has failed to match up to our expectations. After a thorough review we have therefore decided to withdraw from the full service offering. We will continue to develop our new businesses in cash equities in Brazil, our execution only cash equities businesses in the US and our inter-dealer equities businesses globally."
The total pretax charge for closing elements of ICAP's cash equities business will be a maximum of £51 million before any mitigation. This will be treated as an exceptional item in ICAP plc's financial statements in the financial year ending 31 March 2010. The operating losses of approximately £25 million for the discontinued businesses in the financial year ending 31 March 2010 will be shown separately in those financial statements.
ICAP will make a trading statement on 24 March 2010 and announce its Preliminary Results for the financial year ending 31 March 2010 on 19 May 2010.