JARDINE Fleming (JF) was Hong Kong's busiest brokerage last year by trading turnover. The firm managed to keep turnover up during the difficult second half of the year helped by the fact it has a captive fund management arm. Other brokerages in the top 10 by turnover are likely to include James Capel, Peregrine, W I Carr, Barclays de Zoete Wedd (BZW) Hung Kai Securities, Baring, S G Warburg, Morgan Stanley and Nomura. However, the stock exchange will not release a formal ranking of brokers. According to an exchange spokesman, it would take a members' resolution for the public to be told the rankings. Other exchanges, such as Tokyo, release the information regularly in detail. In Hong Kong, dealing directors are told whether they are Category A (top 14) brokers or Category B or C. They are also told their market share and the market share at the top and bottom of the group which can give them a good picture of the rankings. Working from a variety of sources in the securities industry, including the brokerages themselves, it is possible to piece together a picture of the top 10 but not the precise rankings. For the 12 months from the middle of 1993 to the middle of last year, Business Post understands that the top three were Capel, Peregrine and JF. Capel then was believed to have been number one. In the top 10 at that stage there were no American or Japanese houses. The other seven were understood to be Sun Hung Kai Securities, Warburg, Baring, W I Carr, SBCI, Credit Lyonnais (CL) and BZW. During the whole year the order of the top 10 changed. Morgan Stanley and Nomura are thought to have squeezed into the chart and two brokerages were squeezed out. One of them was likely to have been SBCI. Morgan Stanley saw good turnover during the second half of the year as turnover on the market slumped because of its derivative book, according to market observers. 'They made $30 million in profit from futures trading,' said one broker. 'Some of that might have been naked but they must have been carrying huge baskets of stocks to hedge. That alone would keep turnover up.' Nomura, which may have made it as high as number seven in the list with market share approaching six per cent, came into the list in the second half because it placed several important waves of Japanese funds in the Hong Kong market. 'There's no doubt the Japanese had some fresh money in the second half of the year,' said one broker. 'There were several big fund launches while others were struggling to keep institutional business flows.' Selecting the firms that were knocked out of the list is tricky because brokers are obviously more sensitive about it. Several sources with good information fingered SBCI as one fall-out. A former employee suggested that having institutional business was the key to keeping turnover up at the end of last year, and SBCI did not have the same kind of captive business that some firms had. Several sources pointed out that many top firms relied on derivatives trading. 'BZW, CL and Morgan Stanley all ran big derivatives books. That accounts for an increasing volume of turnover. We all know when the arbs [arbitrators] are moving the market,' said one source. BZW and Peregrine are also big issuers of covered warrants, which require constantly altering hedge contracts. The absence of more American brokers did not surprise many. 'You get people complaining about the Americans by saying they come into Hong Kong, make a big noise then disappear without trace when turnovers drop. Maybe that's what you're seeing,' one broker suggested. Peregrine's position in the top three for last year was questioned in some quarters. 'Peregrine is the ultimate corporate finance house here. I think they must be starting to hurt. There just aren't any good new issues on the horizon,' a source said.