Page last updated at 17:51 GMT, Friday, 5 February 2010

Profit warning hits Icap shares

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ICAP says new businesses are taking longer to make a profit

Shares in money broker Icap slumped by 19.5% on Friday after it warned that its full-year profits would fail to meet market expectations.

Icap said a number of new businesses would take longer to make a profit.

The news comes a month after chief executive Michael Spencer, who is also treasurer of the Conservative Party, sold £14.6m worth of the firm's shares.

The Financial Services Authority has declined to comment on whether it will investigate Mr Spencer's share sale.

Icap, which carries out transactions for financial institutions, said its full-year profits would be between £295m and £315m.

This compares with previous market expectations of £320m.

"It's difficult to spot any positive news," said Nitin Arora, an analyst at Noble Group.

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