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Finance

Singapore Exchange benefits from high turnover amid trading volatility

COVID-19 pandemic fuels 16.7% rise in quarterly net profit

Singapore Exchange reported strong earnings for the April-June quarter despite the coronavirus outbreak and a slowing economy. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

SINGAPORE -- The Singapore Exchange (SGX) on Thursday reported a 16.7% rise in quarterly net profit as the coronavirus pandemic fueled trading amid market volatility.

Profits for the three months ended June rose from 103.8 million Singapore dollars ($74.5 million) a year ago to SG$121.2 million. Revenues rose across key business segments, SGX said in its regulatory filing.

The quarterly results brings its total net profit to SG$472 million for the financial year ended June, up 21% from a year ago.

SGX booked the positive results despite the economy shrinking 12.6% year-on-year in the last quarter and the loss of a suite of derivatives and options products, after index publisher MSCI struck a deal with the Hong Kong stock exchange.

High turnover within Asia's financial markets helped SGX sustain its performance. Equities accounted for about 70% of total revenue for the latest financial year.

Total revenue for the year rose 16% annually to SG$1.05 billion. SGX CEO Loh Boon Chye described the performance as "strong," noting that the bourse achieved "double-digit top line growth across all business units" for takings to cross the billion-dollar mark, its highest since listing.

"Market activity could ease following heightened volumes in the second half of FY2020. However, asset prices have recovered from recent lows, and a prolonged low interest rate environment may prompt investors to turn to capital markets for alternative returns," Loh said in SGX's filing.

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