Stock brokers made profits last year despite slow trade
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's securities brokerage firms posted a slight increase in earnings last year, despite a slowdown in trade volume amid various market disincentives, according to Taiwan Stock Exchange data released yesterday.
January 16, 2013, 11:55 am TWN
The data showed that securities firms last year posted total earnings of NT$17.985 billion, a marginal increase from the NT$17.071 billion for 2011.
The data found that last year, of the 47 securities firms in Taiwan, 35 were profitable and 12 reported losses, an improvement from the situation in 2011 when 26 firms posted profits and 22 losses.
Yuanta Securities, which acquired Polaris Securities last year, continued to be the most profitable among its peers in 2012. Its earnings however narrowed to NT$3.787 billion, about a third of its profit for 2011.
Meanwhile, of the 34 securities agents, 19 were profitable and 15 had losses. As for the island's only brokerage firm combing securities and futures trading, it posted a profit.
The figures were announced amidst tepid transaction volume last year, after various market disincentives including the stock capital gains tax, which levies a tax on those selling their holdings after the TAIEX surpasses 8,500. Another disincentive was the supplementary health insurance premium, which will be deducted from stock dividends for investors.
The slow trade had a negative impact on brokerage firms during the second half of last year. They even reported a total loss of NT$1.1 billion in October 2012.
Yet for the entire 2012, brokers were still profitable, due largely to the sale of properties to help boost earnings, experts said. Horizon Securities, for example, sold a property back in September last year and gained NT$2.015 billion from the sale.
Yuanta, meanwhile, sold one of its buildings for NT$5.08 billion, while Truswell also sold its property and parking spaces on Zhongxiao East Road in October last year.