The disappointments continue as more Chinese companies’ third-quarter reports roll out: China Life’s net profit declined more than 10% from last year, and Chalco’s is down 93%. Others weren’t quite so lucky: Air China and Ping An Insurance both posted losses – Air China lost US$277 million and Ping An Insurance lost a whopping US$1.15 billion (after recording US$772 million in net profits for the same three-month span last year). Among the reasons given were Olympic disruptions and overpriced fuel contracts (Air China), poor performance by the stock market and Fortis Bank (Ping An), and falling commodity prices (Chalco).
The Shanghai stock market itself scored a minor victory, rebounding by 2.8%, and the Hong Kong market lept 14.4% (albeit after a five-day, 28% slump). Not wishing to rock the boat too much, Beijing may table a plan to introduce short selling and margin trading, as they actually wish to make the market less volatile, not more so.
And in case you thought the word “melamine” had already faded from the headlines, think again: Wal-Mart has recalled eggs in its China hypermarkets supplied by Hanwei Group after Hong Kong authorities discovered traces of the kidney stone-inducing chemical in eggs from the company. Those looking for Hanwei eggs will have to shop at Carrefour instead.