Market maker Optiver looks back on 2018 as a successful and dynamic year. The company realised a net profit attributable to equity holders of € 515 million, compared to € 279 million in 2017. The global trading firm’s performance was strengthened by improved market conditions across the board and higher volatility. Each of the company’s three regions fared well, resulting in a record trading income of € 1,297 million, 60% higher than the year before. Uncertainty relating to US trade policy, the Federal Reserve’s announcement to increase interest rates as well as uncertain election outcomes across the world, increased the demand for liquidity globally, which market makers like Optiver provide.
“The scale of Optiver’s business – we trade in thousands of financial instruments and assets on more than 50 exchanges around the world – allowed us to fulfil our mission of improving the markets in what has been a year of increased volatility. We can do so because of our highly talented and trained employees, who are ultimately responsible for our strong position in the market. We keep investing in our people, enabling them to do their work the best way they can, with the best support possible,” said Optiver Chief Executive Officer, Jan Boomaars.
New entity for the UK market
Boomaars said that Optiver’s ability to react quickly to changing market conditions allowed it to seize opportunities resulting from the current developments around Brexit and the future EU-UK relationship. “Given London’s position as the financial centre of Europe and one of the main global centres of liquidity for financial markets, we have decided to open an entity there to ensure that we maintain our access to UK markets.”
Optiver showed a robust financial position at the end of 2018, with total equity increasing to €1,321 million, compared to € 998 million at the end of 2017. Optiver paid around 50% of its net profit as dividend. The firm remains committed to maintaining a conservative capital structure in order to meet any market and regulatory challenges. The total assets of the firm grew in 2018 to € 20,5 billion, from € 16,6 billion at the end of 2017.