The profit before taxation of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) in 2012 is about 4. 85 billion HK dollars (around 625 million U.S. dollars), a significant decline of 20 percent from 2011, according to the annual result unveiled Wednesday.
According to the result, the average daily turnover value on the Stock Exchange suffered great loss from 69.7 billion HK dollars in 2011 down to 53.9 billion HK dollars in 2012. New listings and Initial Public Offerings (IPO) fundraising also dropped last year.
Chairman of HKEx Chow Chung Kong believed the performance was mainly due to the sector's post-financial crisis slowdown in advanced economies and slower growth in the mainland of China.
However, HKEx's acquisition of London Metal Exchange (LME) last year was a significant milestone for the company, giving the company new capabilities and positioned it to broaden its ties with the mainland of China, said the chairman's statement.
"We will work closely with our LME colleagues to expand LME's current business, move into new areas, and develop its untapped potential," said the statement.
The range of RMB products in the markets of HKEx expanded in 2012 as more issuers used the company's listing facilities for RMB products, said the statement.
In the securities market, there were more RMB bond listings, including the first by the Central Government's Ministry of Finance, as well as the first RMB Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) and RMB equity security listings. In our derivatives market, RMB Currency Futures, the world's first exchange-traded deliverable RMB futures, was introduced.
"RMB products constitute an important part of our strategy to take advantage of opportunities from the internationalization of the RMB and outward investment from the mainland of China," said the statement.
Looking into the future, Chow believed the quantitative easing policies implemented in the key financial markets including Europe, Japan and the United States, would help improve market sentiment. Nonetheless, the low interest rates and expansion of money supply could cause higher inflation than desired. The effectiveness of these easing policies on improving the performance of the global economies is yet to be proven. Hong Kong would however continue to benefit from the progress of the mainland China's economy in 2013.
"Our markets experienced increased turnover at the end of last year and the beginning of this year, and we saw renewed investor interest in IPOs. While the global economic outlook remains challenging, we believe we are well positioned to weather any storms that might come our way," Chow said in the statement. (1 U. S. dollar equals 7.756 HK dollars)