January 21, 2014 / 1:40 PM / in 4 years

CITIC Securities posts fastest profit growth in three years

HONG KONG, Jan 21 (Reuters) - CITIC Securities Co Ltd , China’s biggest brokerage, reported a 22.8 percent increase in net profit in 2013, its fastest rate of growth in three years as an active domestic equity market boosted its business.

The brokerage’s net profit increased to 5.2 billion yuan ($859.1 million) from 4.2 billion yuan a year earlier, it said in an exchange filing on Tuesday, reversing a fall in 2012, when its net profit was down by two thirds.

The rise in 2013 marks the highest growth since 2010, when net profit rose nearly 26 percent.

“The company’s financial leverage ratio has improved and its innovative businesses have been developing rapidly due to an active domestic securities market in 2013,” it said in statements on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges.

In 2013, CITIC Securities’ total assets grew 60.87 percent to 271 billion yuan after including China Asset Management Co Ltd and CLSA BV’s financials, it said.

China’s brokerages are expected to fare better in 2014 after authorities ended a 14-month freeze on the initial public offerings (IPO) market late last year.

About 50 companies have received approval to list on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges and more than 700 are looking to make their market debut, according to the regulator, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). (Reporting by Meg Shen in HONG KONG and Lee Chyen Yee in SINGAPORE; Editing by Mark Potter)

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