March 6, 2020 / 4:44 AM / a month ago

Chinese brokerage earnings surge as Beijing opens money spigot to soften virus hit

SHANGHAI/BEIJING, March 6 (Reuters) - China-listed brokerages reported a jump in February earnings as their trading and underwriting businesses benefited from Beijing’s monetary easing and relaxed financing rules aimed at softening the economic blow from the coronavirus.

Major brokerage Citic Securities Co’s net profit in February jumped 37% from January, and is up 45% from a year earlier, according to Reuters calculations based on monthly results of the parent company released on Friday.

Guotai Junan Securities Co’s results showed its net profit in January tripled from the previous month, while smaller brokerage TF Securities reported a nearly eight-fold earnings surge.

Results from dozens of other brokerages also point to a robust first quarter, setting them apart from other sectors such as tourism and entertainment whose operations have been hit by the epidemic.

Brokerages’ trading and wealth management business benefited from a boisterous stock market that saw its main index jumping roughly 14% from January lows on the back of monetary easing.

Meanwhile, China loosened rules for equity and bond sales to aid struggling companies, benefiting brokerages’ investment banking business. (Reporting by Samuel Shen, Cheng Leng and Ryan Woo; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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