ICAP expands in Australia

Interbroker dealer ICAP, also the world’s leading Forex ECN, has expanded its presence in Australia by hiring MF Global’s old team in charge of brokering agricultural and soft commodities. For the original ICAP press release click here.

ICAP will now broker both OTC and exchange-traded agricultural products – predominantly grains, wool, cotton and sugar to clients which include grain handlers, producers, exporters, and trading houses, but also to financial concerns such as banks and hedge funds. The team will also offer broking services in cotton, soybeans, corn, milk cocoa, coffee, canola and sorghum.

MF Global’s receiver in Australia, accounting firm Deloitte, had attempted to sell MF Global’s Australian unit as a whole following the bankruptcy of the U.S. parent firm – this included the ag / soft commodities business and also MF Global’s estimated 16% market share of the CFD business in Australia. After passing a self-imposed November 18 (2011) deadline with no buyers, Deloitte simply shut down the unit and let go all the employees. Several foreign firms operating in Australia benefited by picking up old MF Global clients (notably IG Group), as well as some of the leading domestic firms such as AxiTrader, Pepperstone, IC Markets, GO Markets (itself just acquired by Japanese firm AIP), and Vantage FX.

ICAP’s announcement certainly falls in line with the theme we’ve seen lately of foreign Forex and other trading-related firms expanding their presence down under. ICAP’s increased presence as a “dealer’s dealer” will, ultimately, create more behind-the-scenes liquidity in the Australian Forex, CFD and commodities trading market, benefiting both traders and the trading firms which serve them.

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