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London Stock Exchange to cut 250 jobs

London

THE London Stock Exchange (LSE) Group announced a round of job cuts on Friday after posting in-line results under its new boss, former Goldman Sachs veteran David Schwimmer, as the bourse readies for Brexit.

Mr Schwimmer, who took over the reins last August, said businesses, including those perceived to be most exposed to Britain's impending exit from the European Union such as clearing, continue to perform well, with no change in market position.

The exchange said it would cut 250 staff in 2019 to generate £30 million (S$53.7 million) in annual savings, but that it would not meet its target of core earnings margin of about 55 per cent in 2019 as it spends on the business.

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The bourse was already putting in place plans in case Britain leaves the EU with no deal next month to avoid potential disruption to markets.

"As a systemically important financial markets infrastructure business, the group has a responsibility to ensure the orderly functioning of markets and continuity of service for its customers, shareholders and other stakeholders," Mr Schwimmer said in a statement.

"The group continues to advocate strongly for a defined implementation period and the prevention of the fragmentation of regulatory systems designed to make financial markets efficient, stable and safe," he added.

The LSE said its adjusted operating profit rose 15 per cent to £931 million for the 12 months ended Dec 31, while total income rose 9 per cent to £2.14 billion.

Analysts had expected adjusted operating profit of £932 million, with total income of £2.13 billion according to company supplied estimates from 14 analysts.

LSE's post trade services unit, which includes clearing, settlement and custody activities, reported a 13 per cent rise in revenue from LCH, the clearing house.

LSE's LCH dominates euro swaps clearing. Europe's financial markets regulator has given UK-based derivatives clearing houses permission to continue serving EU clients in the event of a no-deal Brexit - a major boost to London's battle to remain the central market for euro clearing. REUTERS