JSE boosts net profit by 22% for first half

South Africa’s JSE Ltd stock exchange (www.jse.co.za) reported a 22% increase in net profit after tax to R253.8 million (US$35.8 m) for the six months to June 2011. This is driven by a 7% increase in revenue combined with controlled operating costs and the group declared a special dividend of 210c/share.
CEO Russell Loubser said in a press release: “All divisions of the JSE reported an increase in revenue in the first half of 2011, with particularly strong performances from the cash equities, commodity derivatives and currency derivatives markets. This revenue growth, combined with lower operating expenses, indicates a better performance. We also retained the focus on our major strategies.”
The JSE says it offers investors “a truly first-world trading environment, with world-class technology, surveillance and settlement in an emerging market context. It is amongst the top 20 largest equities exchanges in terms of market capitalisation in the world.”

Sources of revenue

The JSE gets its revenue from different activities:
Issuer services –This division handles company and debt listings and revenue climbed, 6% to R48.8 m (H1 2010: R45.8 m). In the first six months of 2011, 5 companies listed on the bourse, compared to 6 in the first half of 2010. Loubser said: “Though there is a listings pipeline, potential issuers remain hesitant about the current economic environment. This is in line with the experience of other World Federation of Exchanges members.” (www.world-exchanges.org).
Equity market – The number of trades climbed 5% and value traded increased 4% pushing total equities revenue up 8% to R371.7 m (H1 2010: R344.5 m).
Equity derivatives market – Revenue rose 5% to R55.9 m (H1 2010: R53.3 m) as a 4% dip in the number of contracts traded was countered by a 12% rise in value traded. Loubser said: “This year, the equities derivatives team has worked hard to encourage trading of single-stock futures on the central order book, which we believe is key in unlocking larger volumes and attracting international players. There was also strong growth in index derivatives and bespoke products traded on-exchange.”
Currency derivatives market – Revenue climbed 44% to R7.2 m, attributed to a change in the billing model to stimulate trade, a wider range of instruments traded and the introduction of bespoke, on-market products. Currency derivatives are a small but growing portion of group revenue.
Commodity derivatives – revenue grew by 15% to R23.6 m (H1 2010: R20.6 m) largely due to increased trade. Loubser explained: “Local maize and wheat contracts continue to make up most of the trade in this market, but the trade of foreign-referenced instruments under licence from the CME Group continues to rise.”
Interest rate market – Strong secondary trade figures resulted in a 16% revenue growth to R19 m (H1 2010: R16.4 m).
Information product sales – Data sales to existing clients contracted, both locally and internationally, but revenue grew 4% to R61.1 m as the team continues to grow its base of international clients.

Special dividend
The special dividend is to be paid because the exchange has sufficient cash reserves for its current needs. It sets aside cash to fund operations, guarantee central order book equities trades, maintain infrastructure and meet capital needs for expansion. Loubser said: “Testing of the new equities back office system is progressing well and the new system is set to be implemented in 2012. As the capital expenditure for this project comes to an end.. the Directors have declared a special dividend of 210 cents per share”. The dividend will be paid out on 12 September.
In the last six months, the JSE has:
• Completed the integration of the interest-rate market trading platforms so that there is now a single platform for trading.
• Delivered the first phase of the remote disaster recovery site
• Made good progress in implementing the new state-of-the-art data centre which is scheduled to be completed before year end.

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