The nation’s nine second-tier brokerage houses saw varied results at the end of fiscal 1998, with five of the firms reporting pretax profits and the others posting losses, according to earnings reports released by Wednesday.

Five registered unconsolidated pretax profits, ranging from 18.23 billion yen for Kokusai Securities Co. to 1.14 billion yen for Yamatane Securities Co.

Wako Securities Co., New Japan Securities Co. and Okasan Securities Co. also logged pretax profits.

Kankaku Securities Co. posted the largest loss at 8.72 billion yen. Cosmo Securities Co. also posted losses, of 1.16 billion yen. Tokyo Securities Co. and Dai-ichi Securities, meanwhile, lost 490 million yen and 1.14 billion yen, respectively.

Wako, which logged pretax profits totaling 8.82 billion yen in fiscal 1998, was partially helped by its surge in trading profits, which jumped 226 percent from the previous year.

Deregulation is making competition tougher than ever for brokerage houses.

Following the April 1998 liberalization of brokerage commissions for transactions worth 50 million yen or more, those for smaller transactions will also be liberalized in October.

Some firms said they are considering ways to charge bigger fees by increasing the value of their services.

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