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IG Group starts the stockbroking services

ig groupSpreadbetting operator IG Group has announced that it will start to offer stockbroking services as it seeks to diversify its business, according to the Financial Times.

IG Group chief executive officer Tim Howkins told the newspaper that the move would satisfy a demand from many of the company’s clients who have equity portfolios.

“We are taking the first steps in developing a stockbroking business, which we see as a natural evolution of what we do,” Howkins said.

“It’s a fairly long-term project.”

IG Group plans to run a pilot of the stockbroking service later this year, allowing clients to trade and hold equities alongside ‘equity contracts for difference’, the main product that spreadbetting companies offer outside of the UK.

The newspaper added that a number of IG Group’s rivals have been diversifying their operations in an attempt to tap into overseas markets.

The full stockbroking service could launch within the next two years.

IG Group announced on Tuesday that its turnover had decreased by 1.4% year-on-year to £361.9m ($555.2m/€419.6m) in the fiscal year ending May 31.

Howkins added that the company is seeking to invest in overseas operations over the next year.

“We’re in talks with regulators in three different countries,” he added.

“Those [discussions] aren’t yet at a stage where it’s absolutely clear whether we’ll be able to operate in those countries.”