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Citic Securities H1 profit rises 13%

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Citic's strong service culture has allowed it to maintain its market share of brokerage services.

Beijing

CITIC Securities Co Ltd, China's biggest brokerage, said on Thursday first-half net profit rose 13 per cent, led by steady growth in its securities investment and asset management businesses.

Net profit for the six months to June rose to 5.57 billion yuan (S$1.1 billion) from 4.93 billion yuan a year earlier.

That largely matched preliminary results released in July.

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Brokers in China have been struggling after a stock market boom came to a turbulent end in 2015. Depressed trading on the Shanghai and Shenzhen markets has prompted some brokerages to compete in cutting commissions, and staff benefits have been scaled back to keep costs in check.

The benchmark Shanghai index has dropped nearly 18 per cent so far this year with mounting US-China trade tensions weighing on investor sentiment.

But Citic's strong service culture has allowed it to maintain its market share of brokerage services, despite tough price competition, analysts said.

In the first half of 2018, China's securities firms booked a total net profit of 32.9 billion yuan, down 40.5 per cent from 55.3 billion yuan a year ago, the Securities Association of China has said.

Of 131 firms included in the data, 106 were profitable, the association said. That compares with 91 percent a year earlier.

Citic's net profit rose 10.3 per cent in 2017, it reported in March. REUTERS