HKEx posts increase of 14% in H1 profit

Updated: 2011-08-11 09:17


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HKEx posts increase of 14% in H1 profit
The company logo of Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd (HKEx) is displayed outside its exhibition hall in Hong Kong August 10, 2011. Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd, the world's largest exchange operator by market value, posted a 19.5 percent rise in second-quarter net profit, roughly in line with expectations, helped by a rise in trading volumes.[Photo/Agencies]

HONG KONG -- Local bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEx) recorded a 14-percent increase year-on- year in net profit in the first half this year, which amounted to HK$2.584 billion ($331 million).

The interim dividend stood at HK$2.16 per share, up 14 percent from a year ago.

HKEx recorded income of HK$3.972 billion, up 15 percent year on year, while operating expenses rose 18 percent to HK$916 million. Profit before taxation was HK$3.056 billion, with basic earnings per share at HK$2.4.

The average daily turnover value on the Stock Exchange was HK$73.6 billion , 15 percent higher than the same period last year.

Funds raised in the Hong Kong initial public offering market reached HK$174.7 billion in the first half, jumping 247 percent from a year ago.

HKEx Chairman Ronald Arculli said the operator will continue efforts to attract a wider cross-section of international companies with Chinese mainland-focused growth strategies to list on the exchange.

"As we proceed with external marketing, we have not overlooked the importance of maintaining high regulatory standards to reinforce investors' confidence in our market," he said in a statement filing to the stock exchange.

Arculli also said the listing of the first renminbi-denominated REIT on April 29 this year marked an important milestone for the bourse. Apart from efforts to modify RMB trading and clearing platforms, HKEx plans to introduce RMB Equity Trading Support Facility in the fourth quarter of this year to facilitate trading in RMB-denominated securities in the secondary market.

"This backup facility will form an essential part of the overall infrastructure in promoting and supporting offshore RMB business in Hong Kong," he added.

HKEx Director and Chief Executive Charles Li said a total of eight international companies either issued new shares or were listed in Hong Kong during the first half, and they raised a total of HK$122.4 billion.

As China will become one of the world's fastest growing markets for consumption over the next decade, we believe that access to the China market remains one of the most important drivers for international listings, in particular those of the well-known brands, he said.

Li also said the demand for more diversified RMB-traded products in Hong Kong is mounting as the quantity of RMB in Hong Kong continues to increase steadily.

Introduction of RMB products is a significant move in the Hong Kong financial market, and the operator will continue to work closely with issuers, intermediaries, and regulators on the further development of those products, he said.

Trading in HKEx shares was suspended in the afternoon on Wednesday after the disruption prevented public access to its interim results announcement. HKEx closed at HK$141.2 per share by midday, up 2.62 percent from the previous closing.

The city's government has asked HKEx to investigate the cause of HKExnews website disruption.