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ICAP expands Middle East presence with new EBS Prime customer in Bahrain

ICAP plc (IAP.L), the world’s premier interdealer broker and operator of the leading spot FX trading platform EBS, announced today that it has expanded its presence in the Middle East, with a new EBS Prime customer in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK), based in Bahrain, went live on EBS Prime on 26 March. EBS Prime is a facility that enables customer banks to view and trade on the best prices available to the world's leading FX banks on the EBS system. Access to tighter prices and a greater depth of liquidity from the world's leading market making banks offers customers increased revenue opportunities and liquidity, improving their competitive position in the market.

BBK marks a further step in expanding ICAP’s presence in the region, following the first EBS prime customer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In addition to the Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, ICAP also has regulatory approval to provide electronic broking services in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. ICAP first became active in the region in 1976 with the establishment of an office in Bahrain. ICAP also offers voice broking services in G7 and Middle Eastern fixed income and foreign exchange products including spot, forwards, deposits and off balance sheets.

Waleed Khoury, General Manager, Middle East and Africa, ICAP Electronic Broking said “ICAP is very pleased to welcome BBK to EBS. BBK is one of Bahrain’s leading financial institutions and we are delighted to offer them access to the EBS global liquidity pool.”

Randy Hebert, Manager, FX Trading, BBK said "BBK is extremely delighted to add the EBS platform as a primary source of liquidity. The strengths of the EBS spot liquidity will play a key role in increasing our trading capabilities throughout the region".

ICAP is the leading trading venue for spot FX, forward FX, FX options and non-deliverable forwards for both electronic trading and voice broking. The EBS platform is an award-winning, screen-based anonymous dealing system for professional spot traders. Trading volumes on EBS have grown strongly in the face of increased volatility in the markets – average daily volume in February 2008 was US$217 billion, up 34 percent on February 2007.