Hong Kong Stock Market Wrap Aug 26th, 2009
Consumer: Belle International (1880 HK) recorded a 15 per cent rise in its net profit to 1.14 billion yuan in the first six months, boosted by its footwear business. The firm said it will focus on expanding its footwear business as growth in sportswear remains sluggish in China. Its chief executive said selling Fila was part of the company’s strategy of shifting focus to its footwear business. Earnings per share were 13.47 fen. An interim dividend of 3.5 fen was declared. Esprit (330 HK) recorded a 26 per cent year-on-year decline in its net profit in the first half to HK$ 4.75 billion as its major European markets fell into recession. Earnings per share were HK$3.81. A high interim dividend of HK$ 2.05 was declared despite the decline in its profit. Lianghua Supermarket (980 HK) vice chair Hua Guoping denied on bidding Times Ltd (1832), a Shanghai-based hypermarket and supermarket operator. Times Ltd announced earlier that it is looking for buyers and Lianghua Supermarket was said to be one of the bidders. Lianghua said Times Ltd is one of the competitors of the company and would pay full attention to the bid, but it denied that they are in talk on the deal.
Financial: China Life (2628 HK) has confirmed its interest in acquiring stakes in Agricultural Bank of China and listing candidate American International Assurance, but any decision depends on pricing and regulations. Chairman Yang Chao said the mainland’s largest insurer will expand into commercial banking as well as trustee and asset management to grow into a comprehensive financial institution.
Resources: Citic Pacific (267 HK) reported yesterday that its net profit plunges 43 per cent to HK$ 2.47 billion in the first half, dragged down by the shrinking demand for special steel. Earnings per share were 68 HK cents. The company will pay an interim dividend of 15 HK cents to fulfil its promise to shareholders. Citic Pacific clarified that it has no plan to sell its stake in two cross-harbour tunnels as they both provide stable income to the company. Cnooc (883 HK), the nation’s third-largest oil and gas producer, announced yesterday that its net profit slides 55 per cent to 12.4 billion yuan in the first half on sharply lower oil prices. Earnings per share were 28 fen. An interim dividend of 20 HK cents was declared. The main offshore oil and gas producer lacks major refining operations and so was directly hurt by the sharp drop in oil prices from a year earlier. Yet, it forecasts better results as the economy recovers.
Property: Hopewell (54 HK), the Hong Kong-based property, infrastructure and hospitality group, yesterday reported a 72 per cent decline in its first-half net profit to HK$ 1.68 billion, dragged down by the lack of property sale this year. An interim dividend of HK$0.18 was declared. The company proposes no special dividend. Kerry Properties (683 HK) announced yesterday that its interim net profit dropped 24 per cent to HK$990 million. The company said it has reached a HK$5 billion target of contract sales in the first seven months at higher selling prices despite a fall in its profit. It proposes an interim dividend of 30 HK cents. Wang On (1222 HK) said its new project in Yau Tong, which involves as much as HK$5 billion, will be launched at the end of next year at the earliest. The developer said as the land is transferred from industrial to residential use, it has to pay HK$2 billion to the government as premium. Wharf recorded (4HK) a 44 per cent surge in its first-half net profit to HK$3.29 billion, boosted by the property investment in mainland. Earnings per share were HK$1.20. An interim dividend of 36 HK cents was declared. Wheelock (20 HK), the parent of Wharf, said its interim underlying net profit rose 47 per cent to HK$1.75 billion. Including property revaluation gains, net profit fell 20.7 per cent. Earnings per share were 86 HK cents. An interim dividend of 2.5 HK cents, was declared the same as last year.
Sinotrans recorded (598 HK) a net of 270 million yuan for the first half, down 60.5 per cent compared with a year ago. Earnings per share were 0.064 yuan. No interim dividend was declared. The company said the ratio of domestic business has risen 6 per cent and plans to raise it to as much as 15 per cent in three years by restructuring its domestic and foreign business.
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels (45 HK) recorded a net profit of HK$462 million for the first half, down 71 per cent compared with a year ago. Earnings per share were HK$0.32. An interim dividend of HK$0.03 per share was declared.
Tianjin Port Development (3382 HK) recorded a loss of HK$15.85 million for the first half, compared with a profit of HK$140.68 million a year ago. The company attributes the loss to a drop in mainland exports. Loss per share was HK$0.009. No interim dividend was declared. The company said cargo throughput has dropped 6.7 per cent in the first half and thus would lower its target from 9,000,000 to 8,500,000 standard containers.
Sources: Sing Tao Finance, Hong Kong Economic Journal, Hong Kong Economic Times, The Standard