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GFI Cut to Junk by S&P as Trading Volumes Dim Revenue Outlook

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April 23 (Bloomberg) -- GFI Group Inc. had its credit ratings cut to below investment grade by Standard & Poor’s as the broker of transactions between banks faces lower trading volumes.

S&P cut the New York-based company’s issuer credit and senior unsecured grades one level to BB+ with a negative outlook on the company, the ratings firm said in a statement today. S&P said GFI will struggle to improve credit measures amid “competitive and slow trading conditions” that are pressuring revenue from arranging transactions electronically or over the phone.

The ratings “reflect the company’s position as a small firm in the intensely competitive, low-margin, and relatively narrow institutional agency brokerage business,” S&P said in the statement.

GFI is scheduled to report its first-quarter earnings on April 26 after markets close.

Shares of GFI, which have dropped 21 percent this year, rose 1.9 percent to $3.24 today in New York.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Leising in New York at mleising@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alan Goldstein at agoldstein5@bloomberg.net.

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