The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing's (0388) net profit for the first six months of 2018 increased by 44 percent year-on-year to an all-time high of HK$5.04 billion, while showing a drop quarter-on-quarter.
Cash market headline average daily turnover fell 27 percent to HK$106.8 million in the second quarter compared to January to March, due to "increased uncertainties and concerns over the trade war initiated by the US", the company said in a filing.
In a media briefing yesterday, chief executive Charles Li Xiaojia also warned that the market sentiment might be more sombre in the second half if the trade spat further escalates.
There are uncertainties for Hong Kong and some developing countries who are unsure where to head lead their economies, Li explained.
He expected to introduce the northbound investor ID model, the real name identification system, in September.
Trading fees for the first half were 68 percent higher than a year earlier, as trading volumes rose, and listing fees were 12 percent higher.
"During the first half of 2018, the world's financial markets experienced bouts of volatility following significant corrections across major stock markets. Investor sentiment was dominated by uncertainties over escalating U.S./China trade tensions, geopolitical risk in several parts of the world and policy divergence of major central banks," said Laura Cha Shih May-lung, HKEX chairman in the company's exchange filing.
Cha, named to the role in April, said average daily turnover in the Hong Kong securities market was HK$126.6 billion for the first six months of 2018, up 67 percent compared with a year earlier.
The number of IPO deals were 50 percent higher in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year, if transfers from the Growth Enterprise Board to Hong Kong's main board were included, the exchange operator said. The strong listing momentum appears to have continued into the third quarter.
HKEX's share price added 0.97 percent to HK$229 yesterday.