HONG KONG, March 27 (Reuters) - CITIC Securities , China’s biggest brokerage, posted a 66 percent drop in profit for 2012, its first decline since 2008, due to a sluggish stock market that reduced trading commissions and investment banking income.
Earnings fell to 4.24 billion yuan ($682.7 million) from 12.58 billion yuan a year earlier. In January, CITIC had warned of a 66 percent slump in profit by comparison with 2011, when profits also got a boost from a one-off investment gain.
CITIC will step up its asset management and derivative businesses as part of efforts to diversify away from its traditional investment banking and stock broking, sources have said, as Chairman Wang Dongming remodels the Beijing-based firm after Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs. ($1 = 6.2110 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Raymond Leung in HONG KONG and Samuel Shen in SHANGHAI; editing by Jane Baird)