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HONG KONG, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's stock exchange operator said on Monday its 2016 net profit fell 27 percent due to a decline in fees generated by stocks and metals trading on the bourse as it struggled to match stellar volumes seen during 2015's record rally.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEX) reported a net profit of HK$5.8 billion ($747.36 million) for 2016, slightly below analysts' average estimate of HK$6 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.
"The global financial markets were volatile and overshadowed by political and economic uncertainties. At home, there were concerns that mainland China’s economy was slowing down and that interest rates would rise. All these contributed to cautious sentiment among investors and created a challenging market environment for the Group," HKEX said in a statement.
Average daily trading on the bourse in 2016 fell 37 percent to HK$70 billion compared with the previous year. Group profits were also dented by the bourse's London Metal Exchange subsidiary, which saw trading volumes fall 8 percent year-on- year due to subdued metals demand.
The exchange's shares have risen around 8 percent this year, compared to a 9 percent year-to-date rally in the main Hang Seng benchmark. ($1 = 7.7607 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Michelle Price; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)