ICAP shuts NYSE share trading unit: sources

LONDON Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:25pm IST

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LONDON (Reuters) - ICAP has shut its share trading unit at the New York Stock Exchange in the latest move by the world's largest derivatives broker to drive down costs, according to two sources.

ICAP (IAP.L) shut its NYSE NYX.N floor trading business this month after its head Kenny Polcari left the firm to pursue other opportunities.

The NYSE-based team comprised three traders as well as Polcari, two sources said on condition of anonymity.

ICAP declined to comment on its NYSE business.

The move marks the latest in a series of cuts by the world's top broker as it seeks to reduce costs to offset falling revenue at the firm.

ICAP said on Wednesday its revenue for the six months to the end of September was down 14 percent at 746 million pounds ($1.2 billion) while profits were off a quarter to 144 million pounds for the period.

Brokerages such as ICAP and rival Tullett Prebon Plc (TLPR.L) make money by matching buyers and sellers of bonds, currencies and swaps, but they have been hit by a drop in trading activity as investment banks cut back in the financial crisis.

"This has been one of the toughest periods in my 36-year career in the wholesale financial markets," ICAP Group Chief Executive Michael Spencer said on Wednesday. "Trading volumes this year have fallen significantly across nearly all asset classes."

Equities broking on exchanges such as NYSE is a relatively small part of ICAP's business and accounted for only 7 percent, or 55 million pounds, of revenue in the six months to the end of September.

ICAP continues to trade equities out of its Jersey City office and its Link office in New York, a source close to the firm said on Friday.

($1=0.6300 British pounds)

(Editing by Mike Nesbit)

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