Mon, Oct 09, 2017 - Page 15 News List

Number of workers in securities sector falls to 12-year low

Staff writer, with CNA

The number of employees in the local securities sector has fallen to a more than 12-year low, even as the TAIEX hovered above 10,000 points for more than four months, according to the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC).

The commission said that the decline in the number of employees in the securities business largely reflected that turnover in the market remained moderate, despite soaring share prices, which has squeezed commissions earned by brokers in the industry.

Brokerages have also been scaling back hiring as more equity investors favor online transactions, the commission said.

Data compiled by the commission showed that as of the end of June, the number of employees in the securities industry fell by 803 from the end of December last year to 34,621.

The number of employees in the industry hit a peak of 41,355 at the end of 2011, but fell significantly in 2013 as many investors stepped back after a stock transaction tax was imposed. That year, 2,552 employees left the industry, the steepest decline since 2005, with the total dropping to 36,920, the commission’s data show. Since 2011, the peak in the local securities industry, the number of employees has fallen by 6,734.

The decline in the securities industry’s workforce came despite a booming equity market in Taiwan, where the TAIEX in May breached 10,000 points for the first time in 17 years.

The TAIEX has remained above 10,000 points for more than four months, the longest run for the index at that level in the local equity market’s history.

On Friday, the TAIEX closed up 14.54 points, or 0.14 percent, at 10,532.81. So far this year, the index has gained almost 1,300 points, or about 13.83 percent, largely on the back of buying by foreign institutional investors.

However, major local players still stayed on the sidelines, which has capped daily turnover in the equities market and prompted many employees in the industry to leave due to the thin commission income, analysts said.

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