UPDATE 1-ICAP revenue hit by trading slump

Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:26am EST

* ICAP H1 revenue down 14 pct to 746 mln pounds

* Group operating profit down 25 percent to 144 mln pounds

By Luke Jeffs

LONDON, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Britain's ICAP said its revenue fell 14 percent for the first half of the year, hit by a drop in trading activity as investment banks cut back in the financial crisis.

The world's largest inter-dealer broker said on Wednesday its first half revenue for the six months to September was 746 million pounds compared to 867 million pounds last year, while group operating profit fell 25 percent to 144 million pounds.

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

Brokers such as ICAP and rival Tullett Prebon make money by matching buyers and sellers of bonds, currencies and swaps but they have struggled since the financial crisis because investment banks have cut back their trading activity.

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