Haitong sees 700pc profit rise on broking income

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 January, 2008, 12:00am

Haitong Securities is likely to report a whopping 700 per cent profit jump for last year as the Shanghai company raked in massive brokerage fees thanks to the red-hot stock market.

The mainland's second-largest listed brokerage said in a statement yesterday that earnings for last year would top 5.19 billion yuan, a 698 per cent increase from a year earlier.

The securities firm listed in Shanghai on June 8 after engineering a back-door listing.

Haitong bought out Shanghai Urban Agro-Business and injected its own assets into the listing 'shell'.

Compared with Urban Agro-Business' net profit of 650 million yuan in 2006, profit at the listed vehicle would climb 32-fold.

'Haitong's soaring profit should be credited to its fast-growing brokerage business,' said Zhang Chunlei, an analyst at TX Investment Consulting. 'Its acquisitions paid dividends.'

Haitong expanded the number of brokerage outlets last year as it took over smaller rivals Gansu Securities and Xing An Securities.

Total turnover last year was 5.14 trillion yuan, a 394 per cent jump from a year earlier.

The company said revenue from its other businesses also increased, without providing details.

In November, Haitong raised an additional 26 billion yuan from a share placement to a group of cash-rich corporate investors.

The company plans to speed up expansion this year to better tap the country's lucrative securities industry.

But analysts said mainland brokerages would be hurt if the stock market turned bearish.

Haitong's profit growth beat Citic Securities' 400 per cent gain.

Citic Securities, Asia's largest brokerage by market value, forecast on Monday that profit for last year would soar fivefold to 2.37 billion yuan.

Mainland regulators encouraged domestic brokerages to go public after a two-year revamp of the ailing industry.

Plagued by insider trading and embezzlement of clients' deposits earlier this decade, a few brokerages firms were mired in debt.

The securities regulator started to revamp the industry in 2005, encouraging strong brokerages to take over assets in the embattled firms.

The regulator also hoped to nurture a host of powerful securities firms to stabilise the market.

According to Xinhua, 21 mainland brokerages reported annual turnover for last year of more than one trillion yuan each.

China Galaxy Securities handled 6.9 trillion yuan worth of share trading business, topping all rivals.