SGX net profit up 9% in Q1; CEO tips number of IPOs to reach 'high 20s' by December

The Singapore Exchange posted a net profit of S$90.7 million in the three months ended Sept 30.
The Singapore Exchange posted a net profit of S$90.7 million in the three months ended Sept 30.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The positive sentiments spurring more market activity allowed the Singapore Exchange (SGX) to improve performance across all units in the first quarter.

Net profit in the three months to Sept 30 reached S$90.7 million, up 9.2 per cent from the same period a year earlier. Operating revenue 30 rose 7.1 per cent to S$204.5 million.

Equities and fixed income revenue advanced 2 per cent to S$99.7 million, led by a 9 per cent jump in takings from securities trading and clearing to S$51.2 million.

Total value of securities traded during the quarter was S$73.2 billion, which works out to a daily average traded value of S$1.16 billion, an increase of 18 per cent from the same period last year.

Value of equities traded rose 14 per cent to S$67.5 billion, although the average clearing fee fell from 3 basis points to 2.87 basis points, owing to a higher proportion of trading from market makers and liquidity providers.

The traded value of other products - including warrants, exchange-traded funds and the newly introduced Daily Leveraged Certificates - surged 82 per cent to S$5.7 billion, but these products yielded less for the bourse operator with a 0.55 basis points average clearing fee.

Listing revenue rose 6 per cent to S$13 million on a higher number of new bond listings, as well as the mega IPO of NetLink NBN Trust.

Since January, there have been 18 initial public offerings on the SG

Chief executive Loh Boon Chye said he expects this number to reach the "high 20s" by the end of December.

Derivatives revenue jumped 14 per cent to S$80.6 million.

Total expenses climbed 5 per cent to S$98.5 million, of which S$3.3 million was operating costs related to the Baltic Exchange. The SGX said the Baltic Exchange reported "slightly negative" profits in the first quarter, but this should be "either flat or slightly up" for the full financial year.

Earnings per share was 8.5 Singapore cents, up from 7.8 Singapore cents in the same period last year.

Net asset value per share was 87.3 Singapore cents as at Sept 30, down from 96.5 Singapore cents as at June 30.

An interim dividend of five Singapore cents has been declared, unchanged from a year earlier. It is payable on Nov 9.

Mr Loh said: "We are starting the financial year on a firm footing, with improved performance and healthy participation from customers across all business segments. We also saw record trading activity in our key foreign exchange (FX) futures contracts and traction in our fixed income business, which reaffirm our diversification strategy into these asset classes.

"We expect the momentum in market activity to continue and return to higher levels of past years."

Mr Loh reiterated that the SGX is seeking opportunities to collaborate with other exchanges to expand its product offerings, even without any equity ownership. The SGX is also evaluating investments and partnerships to grow its FX, fixed income and commodities businesses, he said.

SGX shares closed down one cent or 0.13 per cent to S$7.57 on Wednesday before the results were announced.