Singapore Exchange Q3 net profit unexpectedly falls, hit by ASX costs

SINGAPORE, April 19 Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:13pm EDT

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SINGAPORE, April 19 (Reuters) - Singapore Exchange Ltd , Asia's second-largest listed bourse by market value, reported a 10.2 percent drop in quarterly net profit, hurt by costs related to its failed bid for ASX and higher technology spending.

SGX said its January-March net profit was S$67.02 million , compared with S$74.6 million a year ago. This was below the S$85 million average forecast from four analysts polled by Reuters.

It incurred a cost of S$12 million related to the merger with ASX and expenses rose 18 percent from a year earlier.

Derivatives volume saw a late surge in SGX's third quarter, driven by heightened volatility in Japanese <0#SSI:> <0#SNU:> and Indian stock market futures <0#SIN:> following the March 11 earthquake in Japan.

SGX's shares briefly surged after its $8 billion bid for ASX was rejected earlier this month by the Australian government, which said changes to the country's financial systems were needed before foreigners could buy the bourse. [ID:nL3E7F73WZ]

SGX shares are down about 3 percent so far this year, underperforming bigger rival Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEx) whose shares are up around 3 percent. ASX shares are down about 12 percent. (Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)

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