Another 440 mainland-listed firms reported weaker-than-expected 2018 financial results on Wednesday, adding to the tally of Chinese companies troubled by a weaker business environment.
With Wednesday’s disclosures, more than 370 of the 2,400 Chinese firms that have given preliminary numbers have warned of a loss for last year, according to Bloomberg’s analysis of the data. About 86% of these were profitable the year before.
The companies spanned the economic spectrum, from airlines to small-scale household goods suppliers.
Investors responded to the rush of bad news by dumping privately-owned stocks in favour of large, state-controlled enterprises. The Shenzhen composite, host to many tech stocks and startups, fell for the fifth consecutive day on Thursday.
“We’re only just seeing the beginning of deterioration in corporate earnings as the economy slows further,” said Yu Dingheng, a fund manager at Shenzhen Flying Tiger Investment & Management Ltd. “Things will continue to go downhill for firms seeing business slowing and even as the macro-economy recovers, these individual firms will never be what they were.”