Another year and another story. As you can well imagine, our business is a proxy to the financial markets and what happens in the financial world has a direct effect on our business.
The past year was also a reflection of conditions in the markets. Out of our twelve months of operations, the first eight were very challenging because of instability in Europe. Until December, world news was grim and depressing, but then, suddenly, markets started to regain confidence and trading volumes rose.
In fact, the last four months have been very good for our company and all our business lines benefited from that improvement except for our Private Equity initiative.
During the past year, we took advantage of the slowdown to tighten our business by reducing costs in all divisions, selling our investments in Thailand, agreeing to downsize substantially our Dubai activities, and redirecting all our efforts towards Hong Kong and Mainland China.
We spent time expanding our sales force, deepened our product offerings and tightened our IT and operational systems.
We are pleased to say that despite reporting a loss for the year, arising from unforeseen provisions taken in our Private Equity business, we have increased our market share both in our equity and futures business, despite lower volume for the former. We are now well poised to greatly benefit from increased confidence in the financial markets.
Quam is strong, vibrant and innovative, and eager to return to profitability and resume dividend payments. This is our key objective for the coming year and we will strive with a single-minded focus to achieve it.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff for their dedication as well as our bankers, suppliers and naturally, you, our shareholders.
Hong Kong, 18 June 2013