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SGX's Q1 net profit rises 24% to $92m

Operating revenue up 15% as securities and derivatives contributions grow

Drawing them in: The 11 companies that listed during the quarter raised $2 billion on the SGX, compared with 10 initial public offerings which raised $3.6 billion a year earlier. - PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE Exchange (SGX), operator of South- east Asia's biggest stock market, said fiscal first- quarter earnings rose 24 per cent as revenue from securities and derivatives trading grew.

Net profit increased to $92.3 million for the three months ended Sept 30 from $74.3 million a year ago, the company said in a statement yesterday. That's higher than the $83.3 million average estimate by four analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

"Institutional and retail participation in the securities broadened and the global market share of our key derivatives contracts grew," chief executive Magnus Böcker said in the statement.

Operating revenue increased 15 per cent to $184.1 million from a year earlier. Contributions from the securities business rose 15 per cent to $69 million from higher average clearing fee, while those from derivatives grew 16 per cent to $51.7 million.

Total volumes for derivatives gained 36 per cent to 26.4 million contracts, driven by higher volumes for China A50 futures, Nikkei 225 futures and options, as well as iron ore swaps, according to Mr Böcker.

The 11 companies that listed during the quarter raised $2 billion, compared with 10 initial public offerings which raised $3.6 billion a year earlier. A total of $38.8 billion was raised from new bond listings, down from $52.5 billion a year earlier.

Earnings per share for the quarter were 8.6 cents, compared with seven cents last year. Net asset value per share as at end-September gained 9 per cent from a year ago at 72.1 cents.

The board of directors kept its dividend at four cents a share.

In the next few quarters, SGX will introduce products such as foreign exchange futures and new Asean equity index futures.

The bourse also plans to have dynamic circuit breakers available by early 2014, amid the recent stock-price volatility in LionGold Corp, Blumont Group and Asiasons Capital - the three stocks it recently put trading restrictions on.

Mr Böcker said SGX hopes to lift the trading restrictions on the three stocks "very soon", when it decides that the stocks will not have a negative effect on the market.

"There's no aim for us to keep stocks 'designated' for too long," he said, adding that the regulator will look at trading patterns, among other factors, to determine when the curbs should be lifted.

SGX shares closed seven cents higher at $7.29 yesterday.