KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia's Stock Exchange said Wednesday it posted 56.17 million ringgit (12.6 million U.S. dollars) in the first quarter ended March 31, a 17.36 percent decrease from 67.97 million ringgit reported last year.
Bursa Malaysia, the country's stock exchange, said in a statement that the decline in net profit was primarily due to a decrease in the securities market's operating revenue.
Meanwhile, total operating expenses increased owing to higher marketing and developmental expenses, technology costs, and depreciation expenses.
The group's revenue for the quarter also fell 5.32 percent to 156.5 million ringgit from 165.3 million ringgit a year earlier.
Meanwhile, the quarter saw a significant increase in listings with 10 initial public offerings (IPOs), double the number of IPOs recorded in the first quarter of 2022, indicating improved market sentiment and demonstrating confidence that companies have in Bursa Malaysia as a valuable fundraising platform.
Bursa Malaysia's chief executive officer Muhamad Umar Swift said the Malaysian Central Bank's recent gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast of 4 to 5 percent for 2023 reinforced the exchange's optimism for Malaysia's economic prospects, given the expectation that strong domestic demand will help anchor Malaysia's economic growth amid external volatility.
However, he said continued concerns over the elevated cost of living and input costs might have an impact on consumer and business sentiments, which in turn could influence trading volume in the capital market.
He also said the exchange is cautiously optimistic about meeting all its headline key performance indicators, provided that no unforeseen circumstances arise during the year. ■