ASX Profit Climbs Amid More Australia IPOs, Higher Stock Trading

ASX Ltd., Australia’s main stock exchange, said profit grew 5.2 percent amid an increase in initial public offerings and higher equity trading.

Net income in the 12 months to June 30 rose to A$403.2 million ($296 million) from A$383.2 million a year earlier, the Sydney-based company said in a statement on Thursday. That was above the median estimate of A$402.9 million of 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

ASX Chief Executive Officer Elmer Funke Kupper is leading the company’s biggest technology upgrade in more than a decade. The government is due to decide whether to extend the exchange’s monopoly on clearing and settlement of equity trades amid a pledge from Funke Kupper to cut the fees that brokers pay.

“ASX is awaiting the government’s decision on the review of the market structure for clearing cash equities,” Funke Kupper said in a statement Thursday. “A continuation of the current model for five years would give ASX certainty to invest in the once-in-a-generation replacement” of its clearing system.

ASX shares climbed 15 percent this year through Wednesday. That compares with a 0.6 percent decline on Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index and an 11 percent advance for the Bloomberg World Exchanges Index. ASX trades at 19.45 times estimated earnings, Bloomberg data show.