Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX), which operates Asia’s third-largest stock market, reported a 13 per cent drop in profit for the first quarter as fewer new listings and lower turnover took a toll.

Net profit for the January-to-March period came in at HK$2.97 billion (US$380 million), or HK$2.35 per share, which was better than a consensus estimate compiled by Bloomberg for a 14 per cent decline to HK$2.79 billion.

Total revenue in the first quarter declined 6 per cent to HK$5.2 billion, beating analysts’ estimates of HK$4.96 billion.

“HKEX demonstrated its strength and resilience in the first quarter of the year,” Bonnie Chan Yiting, its newly appointed CEO, said in a statement issued during the noon trading break on Friday.

“Despite a fragile global backdrop, the group’s derivatives and commodities business performed strongly – the former achieving record quarterly volumes.

“Whilst the cash market reflected broader macro sentiment and remained soft, there was a notable uptick in headline average daily turnover in March and April, indicating growing investor confidence.”

The HKEX chairman Laura Cha Shih May-lung will host her last annual general meeting this afternoon, before stepping down from the role she has held for six years.

The exchange’s new board of directors will immediately choose a new chairman amid market speculation that former Securities and Futures Commission chairman Carlson Tong Ka-shing is in line for the job.

HKEX’s shares closed 1.2 per cent higher at HK$233.6 at lunchtime on Wednesday ahead of the results announcement. They have declined 11 per cent this year.