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Bursa May Extend Derivatives Trading Hours, Ease Access

Bursa Malaysia Bhd. said it may extend derivatives trading hours and explore alliances to bolster trading volumes after the stock-exchange operator reported a 30 percent increase in second-quarter profit.

“Our strategic direction covers the objective of creating a competitive market, a vibrant market,” Bursa Chief Executive Officer Tajuddin Atan told reporters in Kuala Lumpur today.

Malaysia aims to double the size of its capital markets by 2020 as the government eases regulations and divests state companies to draw investors, Prime Minister Najib Razak said on April 12. In September, Najib’s government identified $444 billion of private sector-led projects this decade, ranging from mass rail to energy, and pledged to transform the country into a developed economy by 2020.

The average daily trading volume on the Southeast Asian nation’s stock exchange rose 26 percent to 993.7 million shares in the second quarter, compared with 787.6 million shares in the same period a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index climbed 2.2 percent in the second quarter, a fourth straight increase.

The bourse wants to “liberalize access” to its derivatives market and explore strategic tie-ups to bolster trading in the securities market, Tajuddin said.

The bourse’s shares closed unchanged at 7.63 ringgit at 5 p.m. local time. The stock has fallen 2.2 percent this year, compared with a 2.4 percent gain in the benchmark stock index.

The market currently trades from 10:30 a.m. local to 6 p.m. with a 2 1/2-hour break.

CME Globex

Bursa, parent of Bursa Malaysia Derivatives, migrated the trading of its derivatives products in September to CME Group Inc.’s electronic platform, CME Globex. The products comprise commodity, financial and equity futures.

“We might consider, evaluate 2012, 2013, if there is more volume out of Chicago, or other parts of America,” Tajuddin said.

The Southeast Asian nation’s stock exchange operator is targeting profit to grow at least 20 percent per annum on average over the next three years, he said.

Net income in the three months ended June 30 climbed to 35.7 million ringgit ($12 million), or 6.7 sen a share, from 27.5 million ringgit, or 5.2 sen a share, a year ago, the Kuala Lumpur-based company said in a statement today. Sales advanced 20 percent to 101.1 million ringgit, it said.

“The acceleration in the implementation of various government transformation programs and prospects for greater merger and acquisition activities remain immediate key domestic market drivers,” Bursa said. “Malaysia’s strong economic and corporate fundamentals will provide support to the securities market amidst the external uncertainties.”

Revenue from trading in equities climbed 25 percent in the period to 46.1 million ringgit, Bursa said today. Derivatives trading revenue advanced 36 percent to 12.3 million ringgit, it said. The company declared an interim dividend of 13 sen per share, compared with 9.5 sen a year earlier, it said.

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