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Cenkos Securities tells us what we already guessed - life's tough for London's brokers

The company said it had also hit a snag reappointing its former boss
london skyline
Brexit seems to be a drag on the performances of the London brokers - but will the market backdrop improve?

Life isn’t getting any easier for Cenkos Securities PLC (LON:CNKS). Ahead of its annual meeting, it told investors that its performance in the first four months of the year had been below the comparable period in 2018.

In the same announcement it also said it had hit a snag in re-appointing founder and former chief executive Jim Durkin, adding the regulatory approval process for the hire “remains ongoing”.

It leaves the company in the mildly farcical position of retaining the services for the time being of current incumbent, the former Bank of England economist Anthony Hotson, after showing him the door.

Outside the boardroom, things don’t look much better. Cenkos blamed “continued political and market uncertainty" (Brexit) for its current plight.

Cause for optimism?

However, there was cause for some optimism, according to acting chairman Jeff Hewitt.

“Currently, we are working on several transactions and our potential pipeline gives us optimism for the rest of the year,” he told the company’s annual meeting.

Earlier this month City rival Numis Corp (LON:NUM) reported a 25% slide in six-month revenues, which resulted in a 66% fall in earnings as it cited the cyclicality of the broking sector and market conditions for its plight.

But it too had an guardedly upbeat message. “Once greater clarity regarding the UK political outlook is established, we expect a material improvement in corporate and institutional client activity,” Numis said. 

“As for all market participants, predicting the timing of any such improvement remains difficult. In the meantime we continue to support our clients, focus on delivering market share gains, and ensure the firm remains well positioned to take advantage of market opportunities,” the broker added.

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