CMC Markets operating income rises, moves past regulatory hit

CMC Markets operating income rises, moves past regulatory hit
FILE PHOTO: Financial traders work at their desks at CMC Markets in the City of London, Britain, April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls   -  Copyright  PETER NICHOLLS(Reuters)
By Reuters

(Reuters) – Online trading firm CMC Markets Plc’s <CMCX.L> first-quarter net operating income bounced back from a year earlier, boosted by higher revenue per active client as traders adjusted to regulatory curbs that plagued the sector over the last year.

“Client trading activity in our CFD (contract for difference) and spreadbet business has now stabilised as clients adapt to the new regulatory changes,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Cruddas said on Thursday.

The company and its rivals, Plus500 Ltd <PLUSP.L> and IG Group <IGG.L>, have had to weather a drop in client numbers over the past year as regulators in Europe and Britain tightened the rules on products that allowed anyone with a bank card to make highly-leveraged bets on financial markets.

However, the companies have signalled a steadying in their recent updates with Plus500 saying this month that its revenue picked up in the second quarter as it attracted new customers while IG forecast a return to revenue growth in the second half of this year.

The CMC update comes after a dismal full-year report last month in which the company posted its weakest annual results in a decade and slashed its dividend.

In June, Cruddas, who had set up CMC Markets as a foreign exchange broker with a 10,000 pound investment in 1989, said the worst of the regulatory clampdown on the sector was over.

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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