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Breakingviews - Capital Calls: UK retail-trading boom ignored

The German DAX Index board is seen during a trading session at Frankfurt's stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, December 30, 2020.

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Concise insights on global finance in the Covid-19 era.

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WIDE SPREAD. Britain’s IG Group is getting love from investors – just not its own. The 3.1 billion pound spread-betting specialist is signing up retail traders at an astonishing pace. Over 40,000 new clients placed their first trade with IG in the final three months of 2020, the company said on Thursday, helping to boost its revenue by 65% year-on-year to 230 million pounds. It’s further evidence that the trading boom is not limited to the United States.

You wouldn’t know from IG’s valuation. Including debt, the company trades at 7.5 times expected EBITDA for 2021, well below a five-year median of 9.4, using Refinitiv data. After a 5% jump on Thursday morning, its shares are up about 50% from their March 2020 low; U.S. peer Interactive Brokers’ stock has more than doubled. A recent acquisition of Chicago-based tastytrade hasn’t helped: IG’s shares are down 7% since the deal was announced. Chief Executive June Felix’s job is to convince shareholders that the fun will continue. (By Liam Proud)

Breakingviews

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