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SEOUL, May 12 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s leading brokerage firm Mirae Asset Securities Co. on Thursday said its first quarter earnings plunged 33.6 percent from a year ago, citing uncertainties in the global monetary policies.

Its net profit came to 197.1 billion won (US$153 million) in the January-March period, down from 296.8 billion won the previous year, the brokerage house said in a regulatory filing.

Operating profit fell 32.1 percent on-year to 284.7 billion won, while its sales revenue increased 10.4 percent to 5.26 trillion won.

Mirae Asset’s first-quarter earnings fell short of market expectations. The average estimate of net profit by analysts stood at 211.1 billion won, according to the survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial data firm of Yonhap News Agency.

The company said its quarterly profit shrank as major economies push hawkish monetary policies to control the high-flying inflation pressure, reducing liquidity in the global financial markets.

In early May, the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate by a half-percentage point and indicated more rate hikes throughout the year. The Bank of Korea raised its key interest rates twice this year, by 0.25 percentage point each in January and April.

This year, Mirae Asset canceled about 20 million of its shares and purchased some 10 million shares worth 85.7 billion won to raise the shareholder value.

economy business, mirae asset securities q1 net drops on global monetary uncertainties

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