KUALA LUMPUR: Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd has registered a net profit of RM15.44 million in the first quarter ended March 2018, more than eight times higher than RM1.89 million in the same quarter last year.

This was largely driven by higher net brokerage and management fee income.

Revenue rose to RM182.33 million in the quarter from RM169.13 million in the corresponding period a year ago.

Group managing director Datuk Chay Wai Leong said the company is optimistic and will continue to record satisfactory performance in 2018.

“Given the strong fundamentals of the Malaysian capital markets, we believe that our core businesses of equity broking and investment banking will continue to grow in 2018,” he said in a statement.

Equity broking business recorded RM11.8 million in the first quarter of this year as compared to RM9.7 million in the same period a year ago as net brokerage fee income increased from RM21.6 million to RM23 million.

This is due to higher trading value on the Bursa Malaysia stock exchange which recorded RM357.7 billion for current quarter compared to RM309.3 billion for corresponding quarter in the previous year.

Its joint venture, Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd which has only been in operations since last May, has exceeded over 10,000 accounts opened and continues to gain traction, the company said.

The group’s investment banking division meanwhile registered a higher profit before tax of RM2.7 million in the quarter mainly due to higher interest income and investment banking fees income.

The favourable result helped offset the lower trading and investment income from treasury activities, Kenanga said.

Kenanga's investment and wealth management divisions registered a lower loss before tax of RM1.5 million due to higher management fee income arising from an increase in total Assets under Management  from RM8.2 billion to RM8.4 billion.

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