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Brokerages' earnings nearly halve in H1
SEOUL, Nov. 25 (Yonhap) -- Securities firms operating in South Korea saw their earnings tumble 45.6 percent in the first half of fiscal 2012 from a year earlier largely due to a steep fall in commission incomes amid a protracted downturn, the financial regulator said Sunday.

   The combined net profit of 62 local and foreign securities firms operating here came to 674.6 billion won (US$621.4 million) in the April-September period, compared with 1.24 trillion won the previous year, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS). The brokerages close their books on March 31.

   The on-year plunge came as the firms suffered a decline in their commissions, a main source of their profit, dented by the persistent global slowdown.
Their brokerage incomes reached 1.89 trillion won over the cited period, down 35.7 percent from a year earlier.

   The combined turnover in the local stock market sank 30.7 percent on-year to 808.9 trillion won over the tallied period, the FSS added.

   Meanwhile, the brokerage firms saw a 16.1 percent gain in bond-related profits to a combined 332.4 billion won, as the central bank's two-time rate cuts in July and October helped them yield good performance, the watchdog said.

   Their net capital ratio, a gauge of financial soundness, came in at 510.1 percent, down 5.9 percent from the previous year, according to the regulator.