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UOB Kay Hian Q4 net profit jumps 85 per cent

UOB Kay Hian posted an 85 per cent increase in fourth-quarter net profit to S$21.84 million as its commission income grew with higher market volumes.

Earnings per share for Q4 were 2.75 Singapore cents, up from 1.51 Singapore cents for a year before.

Total revenue was 16.2 per cent higher at S$105.31 million for the three months ended Dec 31,2017.

Full-year net profit of UOB Kay Hian rose 34.7 per cent to S$76.25 million.

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The brokerage booked a 21.4 per cent increase in commission income to S$66.06 million for Q4, a reflection of strong market sentiment and trading volumes across major markets, it said.

Lower structured lending activities, however, dragged its Q4 interest income down by 6.4 per cent to S$28.09 million.

This was offset by a 79.8 per cent jump in other operating income to S$11.16 million following sizeable corporate finance transactions in Q4.

Total costs and expenses went up by 4.8 per cent to S$80.99 million as commission paid to commission agents increased 39.9 per cent year-on-year and personnel expenses rose 5.4 per cent.

UOB Kay Hian expects market sentiment will remain positive in 2018 barring any black swan events. It flagged inflationary pressures as a main concern. These may lead to a faster than anticipated interest rate hike, which could dampen sentiments and divert capital flows from equity markets, it said.

The directors proposed a first and final dividend of 4.8 Singapore cents per share for FY17, up from 3.5 Singapore cents per share for the previous year.

UOB Kay Hian closed flat at S$1.41.