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HK bourse operator posts increase of 14 pct in H1 profit

(Xinhua)

10:40, August 11, 2011

HONG KONG, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Local bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEx) recorded a 14-percent increase year-on- year in net profit in the first half this year, which amounted to 2.584 billion HK dollars (331 million U.S. dollars).

The interim dividend stood at 2.16 HK dollars per share, up 14 percent from a year ago.

HKEx recorded income of 3.972 billion HK dollars, up 15 percent year on year, while operating expenses rose 18 percent to 916 million HK dollars. Profit before taxation was 3.056 billion HK dollars, with basic earnings per share at 2.4 HK dollars.

The average daily turnover value on the Stock Exchange was 73.6 billion HK dollars, 15 percent higher than the same period last year.

Funds raised in the Hong Kong initial public offering market reached 174.7 billion HK dollars in the first half, jumping 247 percent from a year ago.

HKEx Chairman Ronald Arculli said the operator will continue efforts to attract a wider cross-section of international companies with Chinese mainland-focused growth strategies to list on the exchange.

"As we proceed with external marketing, we have not overlooked the importance of maintaining high regulatory standards to reinforce investors' confidence in our market," he said in a statement filing to the stock exchange.

Arculli also said the listing of the first renminbi-denominated REIT on April 29 this year marked an important milestone for the bourse. Apart from efforts to modify RMB trading and clearing platforms, HKEx plans to introduce RMB Equity Trading Support Facility in the fourth quarter of this year to facilitate trading in RMB-denominated securities in the secondary market.

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