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Broker TP ICAP prepares for no-deal Brexit with extra staff in Paris

* Underlying profit helped by global broking unit

* Relocating iSwap to Amsterdam

* Has not moved brokers out of London yet

* Spent 3 mln stg to be Brexit ready (Adds CEO, CFO comments, shares, details)

By Noor Zainab Hussain and Tanishaa Nadkar

March 19 (Reuters) - TP ICAP is putting extra broking staff into its European offices outside London to help clients deal with any disruptions if Britain exits the trading bloc without a deal.

But TP ICAP, which has picked Paris as its European Union hub for when Britain leaves, said it had not yet moved any jobs.

And the London-based firm, the world's largest interdealer broker, said on Tuesday as it reported results that it expects Britain to remain a major centre for financial, energy and commodities markets for the foreseeable future despite Brexit.

TP ICAP said its pretax profit rose by 5.2 percent on an underlying basis to 245 million pounds ($325 million) in 2018, helped by its global broking and institutional services as well as data and analytics businesses.

Equity market volatility brought on by Brexit and the trade war between Beijing and Washington also helped, with the CBOE Volatility Index, also known as Wall Street's "fear gauge", jumping 130 percent in 2018.

TP ICAP shares, which slumped 43 percent in 2018, were 6.6 percent higher at 323.7 pence at 1130 GMT, taking them to the top of London's midcap index.

The broker, which is awaiting approval from French regulators for its new Paris business, said it has created a new Amsterdam iSwap euro unit for trading interest rate derivatives electronically as part of its Brexit preparations.

Fifteen of the 16 main users wanted to move trading to the Dutch financial capital, Nicolas Breteau, who took over as TP ICAP's CEO in July, said.

This mirrors similar moves by several platforms that trade stocks, bonds and derivatives to avoid disruption from Brexit.

Breteau said he has not yet decided whether the listings of swaps in London should also move to Amsterdam, while declining to comment on the volume traded in London that could be moved.

He said the firm had beefed up some functions in Paris but had not yet moved brokers out of London, adding it could potentially move jobs over the next year and a half.

Chief Financial Officer Robin Stewart said TP ICAP had spent 3 million pounds on putting a structure together for Brexit.

The firm, the product of a merger in 2016 between Tullett Prebon and ICAP, also took a 65 million pound non-cash charge relating to the value of its assets after the costs of Brexit and the European Union's MiFID II reforms led it to warn on profit last year. ($1 = 0.7539 pounds)

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru and Huw Jones in London; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Alexander Smith)

First Published: 2019-03-19 09:19:05
Updated 2019-03-19 13:34:32


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