South Korean brokeragie houses suffered big losses in the fourth quarter of last year, largely due to a fall in commission income and increased costs, data showed on Thursday.
The combined losses by 62 brokerage firms came to 206 billion won ($193 million) during the October-December period, widening from losses of 23.3 billion won in the third quarter of last year.
The fourth-quarter figure also compares with a profit of 119 billion won in the second quarter of last year, according to the data compiled by the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS). They close their books on March 31.
Commission income declined 8.6 percent on-quarter to 777 billion won during the October-December period as stock turnover fell to 323 trillion won from 351 billion won over the cited period.
Increased costs contributed to hurting their bottom lines, the financial watchdog said. The losses were also attributed to poor returns from bond investments, it said.
During the first three quarters of the fiscal year 2013, they logged combined losses of 109 billion won, the data showed.
Of the tallied firms, 34 players remained in the black during the April-December period, logging a combined net profit of 594 billion, but 26 others suffered losses totaling 703 billion won during the measured period.
Their net capital ratio (NCR), a gauge of financial soundness, stood at 480 percent as of end-December, down 15.9 percentage points from three months ago, largely due to the losses, the FSS said.
But their NCR was well higher than the minimum level of 150 percent, it added. (Yonhap)