Reuters poised to unveil plans for Instinet dealing platform IPO

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The Independent Online

Reuters, the global financial information and transactions firm, is expected to unveil plans to float its Instinet electronic dealing platform some time in the first-half of 2001, when the group publishes a third quarter trading statement on Friday.

Reuters, the global financial information and transactions firm, is expected to unveil plans to float its Instinet electronic dealing platform some time in the first-half of 2001, when the group publishes a third quarter trading statement on Friday.

Peter Job, chief executive, is expected to reveal the £3bn plan, although a formal date for the initial public offering will not be specified. A source at Reuters, said the third-quarter briefing was "a good opportunity to talk about such things".

In February, Reuters launched a £500m four year programme to transform its information business to an internet protocol based, e-commerce model. Instinet's electronic trading network offers banks and institutional investors equity trading and, since April, a fixed income dealing service. A US retail launch for Instinet is due by the end of the year, with a European service due next year. Analysts see strong demand for a cost effective internet dealing service that can combine trading, settlement and custody.

Brian Newman, analyst with Investec Henderson Crosthwaite, said: "Reuters offers global reach and global distribution in a fashion that is unmatched by the other electronic trading platforms."

In the six months to June, Instinet sales jumped 50 per cent to £381m. Operating profit grew just 5 per cent to £84m due to one-time costs of £79m.

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