PetroChina shares hit after 3Q profit dives
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
HONG KONG: Shares in energy giant PetroChina fell almost four percent in Hong Kong on Wednesday, after it reported that net profit in the three months to September fell by a third.
The firm tumbled 3.8 percent to HK$10.38 as dealers were spooked by news its net profit came in at 24.9 billion yuan ($4 billion) for the third quarter, from 37.4 billion from the same period last year, despite higher oil output.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index was up 0.49 percent.
The company said revenue rose almost four percent to 551.6 billion yuan from 530.7 billion yuan a year earlier.
But in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange it said: "The group faced a challenging operating environment marked by the slowdown in the growth rate of the domestic economy, a decrease in domestic demand and fluctuation in oil prices."
The Chinese government cut prices of refined oil products in May and June in line with weaker international crude prices, which squeezed the profit margins of domestic refineries.
Companies complain they must pay international prices for crude oil but the government limits retail prices for products such as petrol and diesel fuel.
Analysts predicted margins of domestic refineries will improve in the fourth quarter, saying that Beijing will implement a new fuel policy in the near future, Dow Jones Newswires said.
China's energy firms have been hit in recent months by a slowdown in the world's number two economy and biggest commodities consumer, owing to a steep fall in overseas demand for its crucial exports. (AFP)