|Securities firms rake in revenues after bumper year (source: freepik.com)|
The momentum is expected to expand substantially this year, given the promise of Vietnam’s equity landscape. In the early part of last year, market volatilities and aggressive broad-based sell-off crippled the stock market, with the total after-tax profit of Vietnamese securities companies dropping 77 per cent on-year. However, hopes of an economic recovery have boosted brokerages’ profits, with the year seeing the highest number of new account openings.
Viet Dragon Securities Corporation recorded a record loss of VND88 billion ($3.83 million) in the first quarter of 2020, mainly from proprietary trading. However, the prospect of effective vaccines returning life to normal is injecting hope into the global and domestic equity market.
By the end of 2020, Viet Dragon Securities recorded total revenues of VND456 billion ($19.83 million), up 45 per cent against the initial plan. The firm’s after-tax profit reached VND144 billion ($6.26 million), equal to 400 per cent of the yearly plan and 424 per cent of the figure from 2019. This was also the highest profit that it had achieved since its establishment.
Meanwhile, Saigon Securities Corporation, Vietnam’s largest brokerage in terms of market share, reported 43.4 per cent higher revenue growth in 2020 than the year before. Its pre-tax profit also rallied by 54.4 per cent, reaching VND1.565 trillion ($68.04 million)
After several COVID-19 vaccines proved effective in recent months, almost the entire stock market started showing signs that an economic recovery is on the way.
As the State Bank of Vietnam remains firm on keeping a low interest rate to help the economy weather the storm, investors vigorously seek for higher returns from riskier assets, such as stocks or corporate bonds. In addition, both Vietnamese and foreign brokerages have provided customers with attractive margin lending rates, as well as low or zero commission fees.
Vu Nam Huong, CFO of VNDIRECT Securities, said the company has achieved positive results for its core revenue segments like transaction fee collection, margin lending, proprietary trading, and derivative securities. In the fourth quarter of 2020, VNDIRECT generated revenues of VND721.6 billion ($31.37 million), up 96 per cent against the corresponding period in the previous year. Its after-tax profit reached VND242.9 billion ($10.56 million), an increase of 73 per cent on-year.
Elsewhere, VPS Securities JSC achieved revenues of VND1.22 trillion ($53 million) and after-tax profit of VND133.5 billion ($5.8 million) in the fourth quarter of 2020 alone, slight increases of 0.62 and 15.03 per cent on-year, respectively. This has led to VPS recording stable income from securities brokerage in the quarter, especially in derivative securities.
Saigon-Hanoi Securities JSC also posted positive performance. According to its fourth-quarter financial statement, the company achieved operating revenues in 2020 of VND683.8 billion ($29.73 million), more than three times the figure of 2019. Meanwhile, its after-tax profit reached VND348.6 billion ($15.16 million), more than 9.6 times than a year earlier.
Ho Chi Minh City Securities Corporation recorded a net revenue of VND514 billion ($22.35 million) and after-tax profit of VND137 billion ($5.96 million) in the fourth quarter, up 54 and 8 per cent, respectively. In 2020, the firm achieved VND1.59 trillion ($69.13 million) in revenues, an increase of 26 per cent compared to the whole of 2019.
Agribank Securities JSC (AGR) also achieved more than VND120 billion ($5.2 million) of profit, equalling 140 per cent of its initial forecast. Along with that, AGR shares also surged by more than 300 per cent since the furious fall into a bear market in March, making it one of the five stocks with the strongest increase during the year.
VietinBank Securities JSC meanwhile recorded a profit of VND128.18 billion ($5.57 million) for the whole year thanks to a sudden bump in the final quarter.
Elsewhere, an influx of foreign-invested brokerages, especially from South Korea and Taiwan, has also pushed the expansion of international know-how and standards as demand increased dramatically. For instance, Mirae Asset Securities Vietnam is currently the largest margin-trading brokerage, the second-largest firm in terms of charter capital and total assets, and among the top 7 in terms of market share. Its profit in 2020 reached VND500 billion ($21.7 million), from VND376 billion ($16.3 million) in 2019.
KB Securities Vietnam – a subsidiary of South Korean financial behemoth KB Group – reported its profit in 2020 reaching VND168 billion ($7.3 million), up around 60 per cent on-year.
Meanwhile, KIS Securities from South Korea also achieved VND207 billion ($9 million) in profit last year, equivalent to a nearly 63-per-cent-increase compared to 2019.
Kwangju Bank also plans to raise JB Securities Vietnam’s charter capital to VND 600 billion ($26.1 million). In 2019, the South Korean lender Kwangju Bank purchased Morgan Stanley’s Vietnam-based subsidiary Morgan Stanley Gateway Securities JSC for VND382.4 billion ($16.63 million).
After acquiring An Nam Securities, Shinhan Vietnam Securities also boosted its activities with a capital hike to VND812.6 billion ($35.3 million). Shinhan is now planning to raise more funds to capitalise on the Vietnamese market. Experts said ultra-low interest rates in South Korea have pushed brokerages to find another promising land.
By Thanh Minh