Galaxy Entertainment Group

Get Nice to expand margin-finance trade

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2007, 12:00am

Get Nice Holdings, a securities firm and Macau casino hotel investor, will seek to expand its margin-financing business after profit in the six months to September more than quadrupled to HK$186.4 million on soaring trading on the Hong Kong stock market.

The company said the buoyant market and potential influx of funds due to the much-delayed 'through-train' scheme for mainland investors promised to continue driving growth into next year.

'Going forward, the company will focus more on margin-financing business,' chairman George Hung Hon-man said yesterday.

Get Nice said profit in the fiscal first half rose 321 per cent from HK$44.24 million a year ago due to a surge in brokerage commissions and fees, as well as increased interest income from providing margin financing to investors. Revenue jumped 383 per cent to HK$436.62 million from HK$90.36 million.

Broking accounted for 31 per cent of operating profit, while margin financing generated 29 per cent. In addition, results were boosted by a one-off gain of HK$84.13 million from the disposal of its interest in a Kowloon Tong property development.

Mr Hung said the firm continued to eye the mainland market and had increased its number of mainland staff to better serve potential investors. It also had applied for a licence to open a securities trading business in Macau and was awaiting government approval, he said.

Get Nice receives fixed rental income from its 45 per cent indirect interest in the Grand Waldo casino hotel complex on Macau's Cotai Strip. Licensed gaming firm Galaxy Entertainment leases the casino space, while other parties lease and manage the hotel block, spa and food and beverage outlets.

The firm declined to disclose results for Grand Waldo. However, Mr Hung said gaming revenue during the period was down slightly, while hotel, restaurant and spa revenue benefited from the opening of Las Vegas Sands Corp's US$2.4 billion Venetian Macao casino resort nearby.