February 7, 2013 / 7:37 AM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-ICAP starts 2013 on high after slow year end

LONDON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - ICAP lifted trading levels at the start of the year after a dip at the end of 2012 and said it expected to post annual profit in line with expectations, offering a boost to the broker under investigation for Libor fixing.

ICAP said on Thursday foreign exchange trading last month was up 22 percent on last year while bond trading rose 16 percent on January 2012.

In the three months to the end of December, electronic currency and bond trading fall 9 percent to a daily average of $664 billion.

The broker said it expects pre-tax profit for the year to 31 March 2013 to be within the current analyst range of 280 million to 305 million pounds ($428 million-$477 million).

“While December was even slower than expected, we’ve seen a marked improvement in trading volumes since the beginning of January across our entire business, although it is premature to tell if this is the start of a more sustained upturn,” said ICAP Chief Executive Michael Spencer.

ICAP, the world’s largest inter-dealer broker, said two weeks ago one of its subsidiaries was the subject of investigation by the Financial Services Authority in connection with the fixing of interest rates.

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