Shown above is the head office of Mirae Asset Securities in Seoul. The country’s top brokerage house saw its owner’s equity top 10 trillion won ($8.7 billion) as of the end of this June, thanks to its stellar performances in the second quarter. Photo courtesy of Mirae Asset Securities

Korea’s top brokerage joins rank of leading Asian investment banks

In 2016, South Korea’s financial authorities announced its plan to nurture large-sized global investment banks whose owner’s capitals surpasses 10 trillion won ($8.7 billion).

Back then, critics cast suspicious eyes on the scheme. But Mirae Asset Securities, the country’s leading brokerage house, reached the milestone in just five years by chalking up a record performance this year.

The Seoul-based outfit announced on Aug. 5 that it logged a second-quarter sales of 2.64 trillion won ($2.3 billion), up 63.4 percent from a year before, for an operating profit of 434.3 billion won ($379 million), up 12.2 percent.

Both figures are the best-ever quarterly results.

Consequently, its owner’s equity topped 10 trillion won as of the end of this June for the first time in Korea among securities companies.

Observers point out that Miare Asset Group Chairman Park Hyeon-joo’s brisk efforts to tap into global markets bear fruit. Mirae Asset units have vehemently waded into offshore markets, including the United States, Canada, and Asia.

“Bigger brokerages can deal with various risky assets, which will help them improve profitability,” Korea Capital Market Institute senior researcher Hwang Sei-woon said.

“Mirae Asset has grown into one of the top-tier investment banks in Asia along with such Japanese powerhouses as Nomura Securities and Daiwa Securities.”

The owner’s equity of Nomura Securities stands at some 30 trillion won ($26 billion) while that of Daiwa Securities is around 14 trillion won ($12 billion).

Daishin Securities analyst Park Hye-jin noted that Mirae Asset fared well in the global business.

“Mirae Asset Securities has made a difference in its offshore business, which greatly contributed its bottom lines, and stable profitability in trading,” Park said.

“For example, the outfit racked up solid performances in the brokerage area in Indonesia and Vietnam. Overall, it managed to almost double its second-quarter operating profit from the overseas business year-on-year.”

The share price of Mirae Asset securities rose 2.55 percent on Aug. 6 to finish at 9,260 won ($8.08). Its market capitalization amounted to 5.88 trillion won ($5.1 billion).