The WSJ reports ICAP Testing Trades In Greek Drachma Against Dollar:
NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–ICAP Plc is preparing its electronic trading platforms for Greece’s potential exit from the euro and a return to the drachma, senior executives at the inter-dealer broker said Sunday.
ICAP is the latest firm to disclose such preparations, joining the growing ranks of banks, governments and other key players in the global financial system whose officials are worried enough about the stability of the common currency to be making contingency plans for a possible break-up.
The firm has been testing systems that would allow dealer banks to trade the drachma against both the dollar and the euro, the ICAP executives said, cautioning that the measures taken in recent weeks were precautionary. They said the currency pairs would not be accessible for trading unless required by market events, and may never be used.
“What precipitated this were customer concerns about what would happen if a country pulled out of the common currency,” said Edward Brown, executive vice president in business development and research at ICAP.
The U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said Sunday that the government has stepped up its own planning measures in recent months to be prepared for a possible collapse of the euro zone. The U.K. isn’t a member of the euro zone, but it is home to Europe’s financial hub and is the world’s biggest currency-dealing center.
It’s good to be prepared for the likely …