Financial conglomerate China Everbright said first-half profit soared 324 per cent as its brokerage business surged on the back of the mainland's stock market boom.
The company, which controls China Everbright Securities and China Everbright Bank, said net profit for the first six months was HK$1.7 billion, rising from HK$404 million as turnover grew 25 per cent to HK$1.9 billion from HK$1.5 billion.
'The mainland securities market was bullish in the first half and saw very active trading,' China Everbright said. 'Despite the significant fluctuations during the period, overall market sentiment was unaffected.'
Everbright Securities, which took over two mainland rivals in the first half, recorded an almost sixfold jump in profit to 2.47 billion yuan from 437 million yuan. Sales rocketed 455 per cent to 8.8 billion yuan, of which 50 per cent was from internet trading.
China Everbright also booked a one-off gain of HK$225 million from trimming its stake in the brokerage to 39.3 per cent from 46.6 per cent.
The asset management division, which manages HK$1 billion of funds in Hong Kong including China Mobile shares, generated a 26.8 per cent return, compared with a 9 per cent growth in the Hang Seng Index. Operating profit surged 170 per cent to HK$159 million.
Pre-tax profit in the direct investment unit grew 248 per cent to HK$226 million, partly helped by a strategic stake in the initial public offer of China High Speed Transmission whose share price almost doubled at its trading debut in Hong Kong.
Everbright Bank's pre-tax profit rose 75.5 per cent to HK$2.51 billion on a 15 per cent increase in loans to 409.9 billion yuan. Its non-performing loan ratio was 6.4 per cent.
Everbright Bank, of which the company owns 21.4 per cent, will sell a stake to Beijing's Central Huijin Investment for a 20 billion capital injection as part of its restructuring for a stock listing.
Shares of the China Everbright have almost doubled this year.
China Everbright net profit for the first six months, in HK$: $1.7b