August 25, 2017 / 11:45 AM / 2 years ago

China's CITIC Securities first-half profit slips 6 percent on weak trading

FILE PHOTO - A CITIC Securities logo is seen at a building where its branch is located in Beijing, China, March 23, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD SEARCH GLOBAL BUSINESS 21 AUG FOR ALL IMAGES - RTS1CLBE

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - CITIC Securities Co Ltd (600030.SS) (6030.HK), China’s biggest brokerage, said on Friday its first-half net profit fell 6 percent, hurt by lackluster trading.

Net profit for the six months to June fell to 4.9 billion yuan ($735 million) from 5.24 billion a year earlier, the company said on Friday. That roughly matched preliminary results released in July.

Brokers in China have been struggling after a stock market boom came to a turbulent end in 2015. Depressed trading on the Shanghai and Shenzhen markets has prompted some brokerages to compete in cutting commissions and staff benefits have been scaled back to keep costs in check.

In the first half of 2017, China’s securities firms booked a total profit of 55.3 billion yuan, down 11.5 percent from 62.5 billion a year ago, the Securities Association of China has said. Of 129 firms included in the data, 117 were profitable in the first half of the year, the association said.

In 2016 CITIC posted its lowest annual profit in three years of 10.4 billion yuan, down 47.6 percent from 2015, as stuttering stock market activity pushed down net fee and commission income by almost a quarter.

Reporting by Engen Tham in Shanghai; Editing by Himani Sarkar and David Holmes

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