UOB-Kay Hian's Q4 profit falls 44 per cent to $9.7 million

STOCKBROKER UOB-Kay Hian Holdings has posted a 44.3 per cent drop in fourth quarter net profit to $9.7 million.

Revenue for the three months ended Dec 31 slipped by 0.4 per cent to $87.6 million.

Improved investor sentiment late last year saw commission income rose by 8.5 per cent to $60.7 million.

An allowance of $6.7 million was made for impairment of investments.

Earnings per share declined to 1.35 cents from 2.42 cents previously while net asset value per share eased by 0.17 cent to 149.79 cents.

For the full year, net profit fell by 28.5 per cent to $65.7 million on the back of a 14.8 per cent decrease in revenue to $329 million.

A final dividend of four cents a share was recommended, down from six cents last year.

Looking ahead, UOB-Kay Hian said investor optimism was expected to continue for most of the first three months of this year.

It expects 2013 to enjoy higher trading volumes due to the following factors:

* central banks continuing their accommodative stance,

* clearer political landscape in US and China, and

* gradual return of investor interest in global equities.

"Sporadic bouts of volatility are likely to punctuate the generally more favourable equity market conditions expected over the next 12 months as there are still concerns on the macroeconomic fronts, particularly over growth prospects in Europe."