City Index plans to spread beyond London

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City Index, the UK's second-biggest spread betting firm, is planning to expand outside its core London market into the north of England, abroad and online.

City Index, the UK's second-biggest spread betting firm, is planning to expand outside its core London market into the north of England, abroad and online.

The group, which is majority-owned by Intercapital, the financial services provider, is seeking to broaden the appeal of spread betting by presenting it as a flexible and tax-efficient way to dabble in financial markets.

City Index intends to target investors' clubs through a series of roadshows in cities such as Manchester and Leeds. It will later launch a similar offensive in Europe. The company's online service, which will offer a range of bets on the financial markets, individual stocks and sports, is due to be launched early next year.

Spread betting gives retail investors the opportunity to back their judgement on a market or an individual share. They can bet on the scope of a winning margin, and can predict that a stock will do badly rather than well.

Spread betting is not subject to either capital gains tax or stamp duty. The standard betting duty of 6.75 per cent is applicable, but is generally paid by the spread betting company. The UK's biggest spread betting firm is IG Index, which floated on the stock exchange earlier this year.

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