By Anshuman Daga
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore Exchange’s profit jumped 38% to a 13-year high in the January-March quarter as extreme market volatility amid the coronavirus outbreak boosted equities and derivatives trading volumes.
“With uncertainty around the eventual economic and financial impact of COVID-19 and path to recovery, these elevated levels of volatility are likely to be prolonged,” Chief Executive Loh Boon Chye said in a statement on Friday.
Net profit for SGX’s third quarter rose to S$137.5 million ($96.5 million) from a year earlier. Total revenue rose 29% to S$295.8 million, a record according to Refinitiv data.
SGX said revenue from currencies and commodities derivatives trading climbed 23%, accounting for 14% of overall revenue, while revenue from equities derivatives trading rose 24% and accounted for 36% of overall revenue.
Citi analyst Robert Kong cautioned in a note that data so far in April suggested the daily average value of equities securities trading had fallen 37% from March, while derivatives trading had also moderated from record levels seen last month.
“We still prefer SGX over banks but recognize that moderating turnover suggests a less upbeat earnings trajectory going forward,” he said.
SGX’s shares, which have been big outperformers so far this year, dropped 5% in early trade on Friday but are still up 8% this year compared with a 22% slump in the main Straits Times index.
($1 = 1.4246 Singapore dollars)
(Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Edwina Gibbs)