ICAP, the world’s biggest inter-dealer broker, is mulling over whether to make a bid for the London Metal Exchange (LME), according to ICAP chief executive Michael Spencer. If ICAP does decide to make a bid, it will join a rumoured ten other interested parties. Speaking on the matter, Mr Spencer said, “It’s a very interesting business. We will do some research and give it some consideration. We will look at it.”
However, he warned it was too early to say for sure whether they would make a bid, adding: “It’s premature at this moment to say if we’re interested or not … It’s a very good business, it’s quite complex to fully get and understand but it’s something worth looking at. I haven’t had a chance to be in touch with the LME but I will be. We will certainly find out more and decide what we may or may not do.”
The comments followed ICAP’s announcement that it has secured four major investment banks to co-invest in its new iSwap interest rate trading platform. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan have all taken a stake in the new platform.
Mr Spencer said: “We will have as shareholders the four biggest derivative trading banks in the world. These organisations have committed to providing us with streaming prices. That is a critical cornerstone that will ensure we have the liquidity and critical mass on our platform to give it a huge competitive advantage.”
During a trading update, Mr Spencer announced that the company would have slightly higher revenue in the six months to September, as compared to the same period last year because of the increased trading volume caused by market volatility. He added: “Due to continuing political and economic uncertainty, we expect the recent high levels of volatility in financial markets to continue for the rest of the year.
“We remain confident that the diversity of our products and services will continue to assist our customers around the world to do business and reduce risk in these uncertain times.”