Fintech player iFAST reports 3Q19 net profit fell nearly 6 percent

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Fintech player iFAST reported Thursday its third quarter net profit fell 5.5 percent on-year to S$2.46 million amid continued investments in improving its platform capabilities.

Revenue for the quarter ended 30 September rose 7.6 percent on-year to S$33.77 million, the company said in a filing to SGX.

Operating expenses rose 12.5 percent on-year in the quarter to S$14.47 million, on efforts to expand its platform’s features, including the range of investment products and services offered to customers.

In the January-to-September period, the group’s assets under administration (AUA) increased 17.3 percent to a record S$9.44 billion, iFAST said.

AUAs hit a record in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, it added.

“While the group is expected to continue to improve on upgrading its platform capabilities further, including laying the initial foundations to be a digital/virtual bank, the group expects that over the next 12 months, the pace at which the group’s operating expenses will be increasing will moderate,” iFAST said. “This is because a large part of the key infrastructure that is required for an integrated wealth
management platform is already in place.”

The fintech player estimated operating expenses will rise 5 percent to 7 percent on-year to around S$59.9 million to S$62.1 million in 2020, compared with the double-digit growth rates in the last few years. But it added the figures don’t take into account its planned application for a digital banking license in Singapore.

“Overall, the group believes that growth opportunities in Asia’s wealth management industry remain very substantial, and it is well-positioned to benefit from these opportunities in the medium to long term,” it added.

For the nine-month period, iFAST reported net profit fell 21.4 percent on-year to S$6.51 million on revenue of S$91.59 million, down 1.8 percent on-year.

iFAST declared a dividend of 0.75 Singapore cent for the third quarter, unchanged on-year.

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