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MANILA — Leading online stockbroker CitisecOnline.com, Inc. (COL) reported a 53 percent jump in consolidated net income in the first nine months of 2011 to a record P288 million (roughly $19 million) from its P189-million earnings during the same period last year, benefiting from the strong performance of its Philippine operations.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, COL said pre-tax profits of its Philippine operations soared by 248 percent to P292 million from P84 million, and this offset the weak performance of its Hong Kong operations.

“A confluence of factors contributed to the strong performance of the business, primarily driven by the rapid growth of our customer base and trading activities,” said COL president Dino Bate.

He said these were supported by the low interest rate environment and the resilience of the Philippine market amidst the adverse developments in the US and Europe.

“Our efforts of educating the public on creating wealth through stock market investing and the growing familiarity of online stock trading has allowed for more first-time investors to see the stock market as a viable investment option,” Bate said.

During the nine-month period, revenues from COL’s Philippine operations jumped 138 percent to P420 million. Commission revenues soared by 148 percent to P253 million largely as a result of the significant growth in COL’s client base.

As of end-September 2011, COL had 25,402 customers, more than double the number it had during the same period last year. The rapid expansion of COL’s client base allowed it to strengthen its market leadership in the exchange.

During the nine-month period, its share of total trades expanded to 21 percent from 16 percent, while its share of total value turnover more than doubled to 4.6 percent from 2.1 percent.

Meanwhile, results from COL’s HK operations remained weak with nine-month revenues falling by 41 percent to P93 million. The Hong Kong market continued to trend lower as concerns about the Chinese economy prevailed.

However, COL’s Philippine operations more than offset the weak performance of its Hong Kong operations as the Philippines already accounted for 82 percent of total revenues, up from 53 percent during the first nine months of last year. (James Loyola, MB)

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