Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Greek Euro Exit Would Be ‘Almighty Relief,’ ICAP Chief Says

ICAP Plc Chief Executive Officer Michael Spencer
Chief Executive Officer Michael Spencer said regulatory uncertainty and the flare-up of the European debt crisis had depressed trading after a recovery at the end of the last fiscal year. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

May 16 (Bloomberg) -- A decision by Greece to leave the euro would be an “almighty relief” and should be followed by several other countries, ICAP Plc Chief Executive Officer Michael Spencer said.

A Greek exit from the single currency is now inevitable and would open the door to a smaller bloc made up of fewer, stronger economies, Spencer said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Francine Lacqua in London. He declined to identify which other countries should leave the euro.

“The sooner we get back to a narrower euro the better,” Spencer, a former treasurer of the U.K.’s Conservative Party, said. “In the meantime, it certainly will be a difficult period but that is the right solution. I envisage a euro around a smaller number of much stronger economies.”

Spencer spoke after ICAP, the world’s largest broker of transactions between banks, posted a 27 percent decline in full-year profit for the year through March and said Europe’s sovereign debt crisis hurt market activity in April and May. Revenue slipped 3 percent to 1.68 billion pounds, missing the 1.7 billion-pound median estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

“The Greek, the euro situation goes from bad to worse with alarming regularity,” Spencer said. “I wish I could give some degree of comfort but it is difficult.”

Interdealer brokers such as London-based ICAP act as a go-between for banks that trade bonds, stocks, currencies, energy and derivatives.

ICAP closed 0.4 percent higher at 336.5 pence, for a market value of about 2.2 billion pounds ($3.5 billion). The stock has dropped 3 percent this year, after sliding 35 percent in 2011.

Goodwill Writedowns

Net income for the year ended March 31 fell to 137 million pounds from 187 million pounds in the year-earlier period, the London-based firm said in a statement today. Profit was hurt by goodwill writedowns on its acquisitions of equity derivatives broker Link in 2008 and Brazilian broker Arkhe the next year.

ICAP cut operating expenses by 4 percent to 1.31 billion pounds for the year, and said it expects to save at least a further 50 million pounds annually by the end of March 2014.

The company will pay a final dividend of 16 pence a share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Liam Vaughan in London at lvaughan6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.