* CITIC Sec to cut CLSA's overseas operating costs by 25-30
* CITIC Sec posted lowest annual profit in three years
* Plans to boost overseas revenue to 30 pct of total in 5
(Adds comment, background, details)
HONG KONG, March 24 (Reuters) - CITIC Securities Co Ltd
, China's biggest brokerage, plans to cut
operating costs of its overseas business by 25-30 percent, the
head of its overseas unit said on Friday.
Earlier this week, the broker posted its lowest annual
profit in three years for 2016, at 10.4 billion yuan - down 47.6
percent from 2015, as lacklustre stock market activity pushed
down net fee and commission income by almost a quarter.
Brokers in the country have been struggling after a stock
market boom came to a turbulent end in 2015. The reality of
continued weakness on the Shanghai and Shenzhen markets have
since prompted some brokerages to slash commissions and scale
back staff benefits to keep costs in check.
Amid bleak prospects at home, CITIC Securities plans to
increase the revenue it gets from CLSA, its international arm,
to 30 percent of the brokerage's total in five years, from 10
percent now, CLSA Chairman Tang Zhenyi told reporters.
The brokerage is also looking to acquire advisory assets in
the United States and a deal could be announced by the end of
this year, CLSA Chief Executive Jonathan Slone said.
"We are looking at everything. But we are certainly in no
rush to acquire anything," said Slone.
(Reporting by Julie Zhu in Hong Kong, writing by Sumeet
Chatterjee in Hong Kong and Engen Tham in Shanghai; Editing by