UOB Kay Hian, the brokerage arm under the UOB Group, has more than doubled its earnings in 1H20.

For the half-year period ended June, UOB Kay Hian reported earnings of $76 million, a 163.2% surge from the $29 million posted in 1H19.

Total revenue for 1H20 grew 56.7% y-o-y to $269.5 million, mainly due to a 90% y-o-y increase in commission income of $186.3 million.

UOB Kay Hian says the growth in commission income was mainly due to active retail participation across regional and US markets as a result of market volatility.

Interest income grew 6.2% y-o-y $63.8 million as a result of higher margin and structured loans.

Other operating income increased 42.9% y-o-y to S$18.8 million with more structured lending and corporate finance activities.

Total income rose 58.5% y-o-y from $277 million. Overall commission and personnel expenses increased due to higher business volume.

In its outlook statement, the company says it expects stock trading momentum to “sustain for the rest of our financial year driving our brokerage income” due to near zero global interest rates.

“The macro outlook remains grim however as global economies struggle to emerge from lock-downs originating from the Covid-19 pandemic. This represents the key risk to the hitherto strong performance seen of the global markets and could dampen market sentiment and trading volumes,” it adds.

As at end June, cash and cash equivalents stood at $570.2 million.

Shares in UOB closed 1 cent lower, or 0.05% down, at $20.07 on August 14.