Tai Fook Securities has opened a new office as part of an expansion that aims to cash in on a loss of investor confidence in smaller brokerages. Managing director Peter Wong Shiu-hoi said yesterday the new branch was part of a plan to expand operations, with a Shamshuipo unit to follow next month. 'This may shock many companies but we are more than happy to fill the gap. Not only better locations but also well-trained staff are in place when the market picks up,' Mr Wong said. Executive director Lennon Chan Wing-luk said: 'The current trend is for larger firms to open more branches. In the long term, even with new [stock exchange] regulations soon to come in, people will still have less confidence in small firms.' The company did not expand operations during the period when market sentiment was good because of a lack of resources and manpower to operate and control the branches, he said. He said the response had been good, with about 30 clients opening accounts with the branch since its soft opening more than two weeks ago. 'We feel that the market is now going through a cycle. Now during the slack period, we can seize the opportunity to take a larger share of the market,' he said. The company's first regional office, in Yuen Long is now making a profit. 'But if we want to break even every month, I believe it will not be until the last quarter of this year. We should break even if the overall market trading volume reaches about $8 billion to $9 billion per day,' Mr Chan said.