Online trading platform AvaTrade places bet on £700m London float

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A surge in pandemic-fuelled activity by homebound traders is propelling AvaTrade towards a London stock market listing that could value it at up to £700m.

Sky News has learnt that the Dublin-based online trading platform has hired JP Morgan and Jefferies to oversee an initial public offering (IPO).

City sources said it was likely to launch in the coming months, depending upon market conditions and investor appetite.

Established in 2006, AvaTrade is one of a number of platforms - including CMC Markets, Plus500 and IG Group - which enable their customers to trade contracts for difference.

It claimed in December that it had a client base of more than 300,000 traders spread across 150 countries.

The company is run by Daire Ferguson, a former treasury manager at the pharmaceuticals group Bristol-Myers Squibb.

In addition to its Irish headquarters, it has sales centres in Paris, Sydney and Tokyo.

Investors said they expected the company to be worth between £500m and £700m if it pursued a listing.

At the upper end of that range, it would be worth half as much as Plus500, another London-listed financial spread-betting group.

An AvaTrade spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.