UK carbon broker CarbonDesk Ltd slashes headcount

January 26th, 20125:14 pm @

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Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:11am EST

* London brokers no longer being paid

* CarbonDesk Ltd hopes to be out of administration end-Feb

LONDON Jan 26 (Reuters) – London-based carbon broker
CarbonDesk Limited has shed staff in a bid to help it emerge
from administration by the end of February, the firm’s
co-founder told Reuters on Thursday.

“The London headcount has been slashed. There are no
full-time brokers and most are putting efforts into finding
other places. No-one is now employed, they are self-employed,”
said Daniel Edelman, CarbonDesk’s co-founder and director of new
business development.

“All have been told if they book deals for us they will be
paid,” he added.

Edelman did not reveal how many staff were employed in the
London office but headcount is thought to be small.

Parent company CarbonDesk Group Plc is active in spot,
future and options trading in emissions markets. Its shares are
listed on Plus, a UK-based stock and derivatives exchange
, but the last trade was on Sept. 26, Reuters data
shows.

Broking division CarbonDesk Limited was put into
administration last September because it could no longer pay
creditors, the group said in a statement early Thursday.

The unit was suspended from emissions exchange ICE Futures
Europe this month.

Parent CarbonDesk Group said the carbon market over the last
year has been “extremely disappointing and frustrating”.

It cited the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March as a
cause of carbon price volatility with extremely low volume,
which badly affected the brokerage’s clients and forced some to
halt trading on the market.

European Union and U.N. carbon prices spiked just after the
tsunami, but have since fallen to record lows on oversupply and
fears of economic slowdown.

As a result, the group reduced costs and the headcount to
offset the lower income in the broking division, it said.

It was forced to close its Geneva office last year, which
cost around 300,000 pounds ($467,600), it added.

The group posted a loss of 1,792,523 pounds for the period
ended April 30, 2011, and its Financial Services Authority
licence has been downgraded.

Edelman said administrators have proposed to creditors a
date at the end of February for bringing the brokerage out of
administration.

“It is up to creditors whether they accept that,” Edelman
said.

($1 = 0.6416 British pounds)

(Reporting by Nina Chestney; editing by Keiron Henderson)

Article source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/26/carbondesk-idUSL5E8CQ1OP20120126