Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) saw profit attributable to shareholders rose 28 percent to 2.97 billion HK dollars (380.77 million U.S. dollars), but the second half of the year will be challenging, according to the local market operator on Wednesday.
According to HKEx's half-year interim results released Wednesday, HKEx saw income rose 33 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2008, to 4.21 billion HK dollars (539.74 million U.S. dollars). The average daily turnover in the period was 87.3 billion HK dollars (11.19 billion U.S. dollars), up 47 percent over a year earlier.
The HKEx Board has declared an interim dividend of 2.49 HK dollars (0.32 U.S. dollars) a share, up 39 percent on a year earlier.
HKEx Chairman Ronald Arculli said the rise in profit was primarily due to the higher turnover-related income resulting from an increase in the level of activities in the cash and derivatives markets and growth in net investment income on account of higher net interest income in 2008.
The higher net investment income was due to the significant increase in net interest income of margin funds arising from an increase in fund size during the first six months, he said.
He also noted that the second half of the year will be challenging. The group will pursue its 2007-2009 strategic plan to achieve sustainable growth.
"With the twin objectives of expanding our product range and broadening our investor base, the first non-financial futures contract, gold futures, will be launched in October this year," he added.
To develop the markets and reinforce Hong Kong's position as a leading international financial center, the group will continue its strategic investments in information technology systems to upgrade its market infrastructure, as well as other services.