Number of Stockbrokers in Croatia Drops by Two Thirds

Total Croatia News

Financial crisis has more than halved the number of licensed stockbrokers working in Croatia.

The Croatian Agency for Supervision of Financial Services (HANFA) announced that this year’s exam for licensed stockbrokers would be held on Saturday. There will be only 13 candidates, which is the smallest number of candidates in many years, reports Večernji List on August 23, 2016.

In comparison with the former golden years of Croatian capital markets, the number of candidates is unbelievably small. In 2007, when the stock market was at its peak, as many as 209 candidates applied for the exam. There were additional 338 candidates who wanted to become investment advisors. That year, the total turnover at the Zagreb Stock Exchange amounted to 66.5 billion kuna and brokerage firms has revenues in the amount of almost 285 million kuna. Profits of brokerage firms after tax reached 199 million kuna.

For comparison, profits of private brokerage firms last year amounted to just 3.2 million kuna, according to unaudited HANFA’s data. As the crisis in the Croatian capital markets strengthened, the number of candidates mostly decreased year to year. In 2012, they were just 25 candidates.

Some claim that this year’s drop can be explained with new regulations. “Regulations which were in force in 2015 demanded that those who wanted to become investment advisors must pass a stockbroker exam. Current regulations do not provide for such condition”, explained HANFA representatives.

The register of stockbrokers currently lists 78 names, as well as 86 investment advisors. Tonći Korunić, a member of the Board of Directors of Interkapital, said that since 2007 about two thirds of stockbrokers had disappeared. However, the market is slowly waking up, so having 13 candidates is not so bad. “With the growth of the market, there will be greater need for stockbrokers”, said Korunić.

On the other hand, Roman Rinkovec from Credos said that the number was too small, but added that it was not a surprise given the state of the stock market. “The Zagreb Stock Exchange has registered declining turnovers and brokerage firms are being closed down, so the profession is no longer considered to be as attractive”, said Rinkovec. “When it comes to trading on the Zagreb Stock Exchange, there is no need for brokers. However, there is a need for stockbrokers to work at foreign stock exchanges”, said Rinkovec.


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