IG Group is boosted by the high-rolling short-term punters


City investors might be sitting on their hands, too afraid to dip into markets that are fractious and tough to call.

But for the hardy retail punters at IG Index, stock-market turmoil and the eurozone crisis are opportunities to look for quick profits.

Its parent IG Group, the biggest spread-betting house, yesterday reported a 17 per cent rise in year-end revenues to £367m. In the UK, those sales are up 15 per cent to £192m, largely driven by more trading from the same high-rolling clients.

The chief executive Tim Howkins said: "In the last 18 months we've been focused on recruiting a smaller number of better-quality clients."

What do they know that the large institutions do not?

"The difference is the time horizon," Mr Howkins said. "The average professional is investing long term. Our clients are trading short-term trends."

The City expects the company to make profit for the year of about £185m.