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UOB Kay Hian's Q2 profit rises 3.2% to S$16.5m

SIGNIFICANTLY higher trading volumes across regional markets where UOB Kay Hian operates boosted results for the group in its second quarter.

Net profit for the three months ended June 30, 2017, rose 3.2 per cent to S$16.5 million compared to the same period last year, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Thursday evening.

Total income crept up 0.8 per cent to S$90.5 million from the year-ago period. Commission income rose 30.7 per cent to S$58.7 million. However, there was a 31.7 per cent reduction in interest income to S$26.2 million, as well as a 37.9 per cent fall in other operating revenue to S$3.5 million year on year, with lower corporate finance activities.

The group also said regional markets for the first half of 2017 traded "on a firmer note" compared with the year-ago period, and that stock-market recovery had thus far been driven by the strong US market performance, strong bank performances and better manufacturing numbers.

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There were also early signs of recovery in the Singapore property market, which would bode well not just for property-related companies but also the banks, due to expected increase in property-related lending volumes.

However, it also added that business sentiment may be dampened by adverse political developments over North Korea and the spectre of rising interest rates in the United States and eurozone.

The group said it was "cautiously optimistic" on the prospects of its regional markets going forward.

Q2 earnings per share edged up to 2.10 Singapore cents from 2.07 Singapore cents in the preceding year. Net asset value per share dipped to 171.24 Singapore cents as at June 30, from 173.46 Singapore cents in six months ago.

No dividend was proposed.

UOB Kay Hian shares finished one Singapore cent or 0.7 per cent lower at S$1.35 on Thursday.