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UOB-Kay Hian Q1 net profit up 0.8% on Thailand, placement deal

UOB-Kay Hian Holdings' first-quarter net profit grew by a modest 0.8 per cent, buoyed by Thailand and a placement deal, the broking house said on Wednesday after the market had closed.

Net profit was S$18 million, or 2.4 Singapore cents per share, in the three months ended March 31. UOB-Kay Hian's shares closed at S$1.50, down by 0.7 per cent or a cent, before the results were announced.

Total revenue rose 6.9 per cent to S$89.8 million as a placement deal helped to boost other operating income by 69.3 per cent to S$11.4 million. Commission income shrank 1.3 per cent to S$55.6 million.

"Investor interest in the Singapore market, our major segment, remained subdued being weighed down by concerns over rising interest rates and unexciting economic prospects," the firm reported.

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The company also posted S$4.4 million of foreign exchange gains, more than triple the S$1.3 million gain from foreign exchange in the year-ago period.

Looking ahead, UOB-Kay Hian expects a more positive trading environment in the second half of 2015.

"The buoyant Hong Kong and Shanghai markets are expected to spur retail interest in equities regionally," the company said. "Stabilising oil prices and more benign interest rate outlook in the ensuing quarter will be positive for equity markets generally."