Brokerage firms in South Korea have reported strong first-half and second-quarter earnings for 2018. This is despite a downward correction in the local stock market, which saw the major KOSPI index decline by 5.7 percent in the first half this year – the worst half-year performance in five years.
According to a report from Yonhap, an English-speaking local news agency in South Korea, published today, brokers such as Samsung Securities Co. and Korea Investment & Securities Co. reported record growth in earnings. This is based on regulatory filings from the brokers.
Specifically, Mirae Asset Daewoo Co., the largest stock brokerage, and investment banking firm by market capitalization in South Korea, saw a total operating profit of $188.74 million (213 billion won) for the April-June period. This is an impressive increase of 21.8 percent year-on-year. In addition, the firm also reported record-high profits of 427.6 billion won.
Samsung Securities Co., a financial investment company, also enjoyed a surge of 49.8 percent in second-quarter operating profits from the same period last year. This totaled to 131.9 billion won, with profits for the first half of the year hitting an all-time high of 312 billion won.
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Securities brokerage, investment banking, and derivatives trading firm, Korea Investment & Securities Co., joins the group of brokers to report positive results. In the first half of this year, it experienced a record net profit of 287.3 billion won. This is up by 6.2 percent from the same period last year.
Finally, the investment banking and securities dealing company, Daeshin Securities Co., also reported a solid increase in operating profit. In the first half of this year, the firm saw an increase of 43 percent year-on-year for its operating profit, coming in at 67.1 billion won.
The outlook for South Korea in the second half of 2018 is not so bright
While these results are positive news for the brokers and the industry in South Korea, the likelihood that they can maintain these figures into the second half of the year does not look promising.
Turkey’s financial crisis is putting pressure on emerging currencies, as traders flock to safe havens such as the Japanese yen and Swiss Franc. Furthermore, escalating trade tensions are also having a negative impact on emerging market currencies for the same reason.
South Korea’s economic forecast may also hamper local stock market activity. In August this year, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), stated in a weekend report that the South Korean economy would experience a slowdown in the near future.