Financial: Bank of China (3988 HK), the mainland’s third-largest commercial bank by assets, reported yesterday that its first-half profit slipped 2.5 per cent to 41.1 billion yuan as lower interest rates hurt its margins. The Beijing-based lender said an increase in government-supported loans which aimed at stimulating the flagging economy helped to offset some of the decline in interest income. Earnings per share were 0.16 yuan. The company proposes no interim dividend. BOC Hong Kong (2388 HK) recorded a net profit of HK$ 6.69 billion in the first half, but sliding 5.6 per cent from a year earlier. The city’s third-largest lender attributed the higher-than-expected profit to the net fee income which surged more than expected on the back of a rosy stock market. The bank said it will continue its solid core business growth in the second half, although net interest margin cannot rise as rates remain low. Earnings per share were HK$0.6329. An interim dividend of HK$0.285 was declared. China Citic Bank (998HK) said its net profit slided 16 per cent to 7.52 billion yuan in the frist half, dragged down by a decrease in its net interest margin. The lender expects the banking industry would face challenges despite a rosy mainland economic recovery. Earnings per share were 0.18 yuan. No interim dividend was declared. Beauforte Investors Corp (21HK) has reached agreement with the China Construction Bank to introduce the latter as a strategic investor of the company. China Construction Bank will purchase 50,000,000 million shares of the company at a price of HK$0.4 per share. Beauforte will mainly focus on tourism property business in the future.
Properties: Cheung Kong (1HK) buys a property in 133 to 137 Electric Road for HK$460 million, according to a source. The land is 8,000 square metres and the area of the building accounts for 80,000 square metres. Chinese property (2337 HK) developer Shanghai Forte Land buys 25 per cent stake in a Shanghai property from ING for HK$165 million. The project was completed last October and its total sellable areas are 140,000 square metres. Recorded until last month, 1036 units which amount to 122,000 square metres have been sold. Shui On Land (272 HK) said yesterday that its net profit slacked 45 per cent to 718 million yuan from a year earlier due to lower property sales and the absence of sales of equity interest in individual projects to strategic partners. To response to the decline in its interim net profit, the developer had imposed a three-year freeze on staffing and operating expenses and cut its dividend by 86 per cent. An interim dividend 1 HK cent was declared.
Consumer: Giordano International (709 HK) recorded a net profit of HK HK$48 million for the first half, diving 76.9 per cent compared with a year ago. Sales revenue slides 14.5 per cent to HK$2.03 billion. Earnigns per share were HK$0.032. An interim dividend of 2 HK cents per share was declared, down 69 per cent compared with the 4.5 HK cents last year. Ports Design (589 HK) recorded an interim profit of 206 million yuan, surging 13 per cent compared with a year ago. Earnings per share were 0.37 yuan. An interim dividend of 0.24 yuan per share was declared. The company planned to increase 30 outlets this year but only 11 new shops were opened in the first half due to the recession, it believes more will be opened in the second half. Sasa International (178 HK) posted a 20 per cent year-on-year increase in its sales in August. Chairman Kwok Siu-ming said the weak sales in the previous months were affected by the swine flu but the impact has been minimizing in July and August due to revenue from mainland tourists. The company has 137 outlets now and would like to open two more in Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay by November.
Shipping: China Cosco (1919 HK) recorded a net loss of 4.6 billion yuan in the first half, against a net profit of 15.1 billion yuan from a year earlier. The company attributes the loss to lower property sales and the absence of sales of equity interest in individual projects to strategic partners. Losses per share were 0.45 yuan. No interim dividend was declared.
China Railway Construction (1186HK) said its interim net profit surged 45.7 per cent to 2.11 billion yuan from a year earlier, pushed by the increased amount of investment in railway in mainland. Earnings per share were 0.18 yuan. No interim dividend was declared.
China Railway (390 HK) announced yesterday its first half net profit rocketed 61 per cent to 3 billion from a year earlier, lifted by the rising revenue from the business of infrastructure construction under the governmental investment in infrastructure construction. Earnings per share were 14.5 fen. The company proposes no interim dividend.
Towngas (3HK) recorded a 19 per cent rise in its first-half net profit to HK$3 billion, boosted by the revenue from its businesses in mainland and better investment return. The company expects the revenue generated from gas sales in mainland can reach HK$1.1 to 1.2 billion this year. Earnings per share were HK$0.453. An interim dividend of 12 HK cents per share was declared.
Tianjin Development (882HK) a Tianjin-based logistics service provider, posted a net profit of HK$247 million for the first half, diving 40.2 per cent compared with a year ago. Earnings per share were diluted to 23.14 HK cents. An interim dividend of HK$0.052 per share was declared.
Sources: Sing Tao Finance, Hong Kong Economic Journal, Hong Kong Economic Times, The Standard