The boost to Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing's turnover from the Shanghai stock connect scheme in recent months has brokers expecting good profit growth figures when the bourse operator announces its results on Thursday. Credit Suisse expects HKEx to report net profit of HK$5.08 billion for last year, up 12 per cent from 2013. "Outlook for 2015 so far is good, given volumes have picked up materially," Credit Suisse analyst Arjan van Veen said. Financial services legislator Christopher Cheung Wah-fung, who is also a broker, said: "The HKEx result is expected to have good growth last year because of the higher turnover in the last two months of the year, which was boosted by the launch of the stock through train scheme." The average daily turnover was HK$97.03 billion in December and HK$78.2 billion in November, up from HK$65.8 billion in the first 10 months of the year, thanks to the November 17 launch of the scheme linking the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock markets, which allows investors to conduct cross-border trading. The daily average for all of last year was HK$69.46 billion, up 11 per cent from 2013. Futures rose 8 per cent. These increases will bring in higher trading and clearing fees. The only worry for HKEx is costs, which have been quiet high in recent years. This would erode the profitability of HKEx Christopher Cheung, financial services legislator Listing fee income, a major source of income, will also be up as 122 companies listed last year, against 110 in 2013. Funds raised from new listings rose 35 per cent to HK$227.74 billion. Hang Seng Bank executive director Andrew Fung Hau-chung said more investors had traded in securities and fund products following the launch of the through train scheme. Cheung said the London Metal Exchange, a subsidiary of HKEx, which also saw good turnover last year, would give HKEx's results a boost. "Overall, the only worry for HKEx is costs, which have been quiet high in recent years," he said. "This would erode the profitability of HKEx." Louis Tse Ming-kwong, a director of VC Brokerage, said he was also worried about HKEx's high costs. "But the increased turnover driven by the stock market connect should be able to offset the high-cost factor," Tse said. "HKEx is going to tie up with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange this year and that is going to bring in more turnover and profit." In the first nine months of last year, HKEx's operating expenses rose 7.83 per cent to HK$2.18 billion, mainly driven by a 13 per cent increase in staff costs to HK$1.27 billion. The exchange attributed the higher staff costs to LME hiring to launch its own clearing house, LME Clear, in September. The higher costs were also related to legal fees, which grew 52 per cent to HK$146 million. In August 2013, the LME was accused of having conspired with some banks and warehouse owners since May 2009 to drive up the prices of aluminium by hoarding supply, causing delays of up to 16 months to fill orders. HKEx acquired the LME in December 2012 to expand into commodities trading but the transaction also saddled it with lawsuits. In September last year, the exchange said a US court had dismissed the lawsuits.