July 27, 2018 / 11:44 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Singapore Exchange posts biggest annual profit in a decade

(Adds details on dividend, background)

By John Geddie

SINGAPORE, July 27 (Reuters) - Singapore Exchange Ltd on Friday posted its biggest annual profit since 2008 bolstered by record derivatives trading volumes and bond listings.

Net profit rose 7 percent to S$363 million ($266 million) on revenue up 5 percent at S$845 million, its highest since 2000.

Analysts had expected net income of S$372 million on revenue of $849.2 million, Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data showed.

Loh Boon Chye, chief executive officer of SGX, said: “FY2018 was a record milestone in our financial performance.

“All three core businesses registered higher revenues...with the number of bond listings and derivatives trading volumes reaching record highs.”

Derivatives revenue rose 12 percent to S$339.8 million and accounted for 40 percent of total revenue.

SGX is in danger of losing a lucrative part of that business - futures tracking India’s National Stock Exchange which allow foreign investors to bet on Indian equities.

In February, three Indian bourses, including NSE, said they would stop licensing their indexes to foreign bourses.

There were signs this week of a thaw in the dispute, with SGX and NSE resuming talks on a potential collaboration at an international financial centre in western India.

SGX’s board proposed a final dividend of 15 cents (13 cents) per share, payable on 5 October. This brings the total annual dividend to 30 cents per share, which if approved would be the highest annual dividend in 10 years.

$1 = 1.3633 Singapore dollars Reporting by John Geddie; editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Jason Neely

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