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UOB-Kay Hian net profit jumps 30.3% to S$25.7 million on higher revenue

BETTER commission income and interest income gave a fillip to results for UOB-Kay Hian Holdings in its first quarter.

Net profit jumped 30.3 per cent to S$25.7 million from the previous year, on the back of higher revenue which rose 28.1 per cent to S$80.5 million from the preceding year.

The brokerage recorded an increase in commission income to S$80.5 million, up by 28.1 per cent. Interest income also grew, to S$23.2 million or 10.7 per cent due to higher margin lending.

"Market sentiment remained positive during the quarter on the back of global economic growth," said UOB-Kay Hian. "Trading volumes in Singapore and regional markets grew strongly, and the Hong Kong market almost doubled its trading volume."

But other operating income decreased 32.2 per cent to S$4.6 million on the back of less structured lending.

Meanwhile, commission expenses rose 24.7 per cent to S$17.3 million and personnel expenses rose 15.5 per cent to S$33.9 million on the back of higher business volume.

Other operating expenses increased 11.4 per cent as a result of higher trading volumes to S$19.3 million.

Earnings per share grew to 3.24 Singapore cents from 2.52 Singapore cents in the previous year.

UOB-Kay Hian noted that uncertainties such as the escalating trade tensions between US and China, geopolitical tensions between Russia and Nato members and the recent change in the Malaysian government have "increased risk premium on equity valuations".

"With the exception of the huge liquidity event emanating from record number of en bloc sales in Singapore, there are few new positive events of note which could spur market sentiment and activities," it said. "We expect markets to be increasingly volatile."

UOB-Kay Hian shares finished S$0.03 or 2.2 per cent up at S$1.37 on Tuesday.

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