State-owned enterprises China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec), Aluminum Corp of China (Chalco) and China Railway Group have warned that their annual profits for 2008 could drop by more than 50%, the South China Morning Post reported. Sinopec blamed sharply higher fuel prices in the first half of last year for its losses; refiners had been caught between rising crude prices and government policies to keep end-user prices down. Chalco said lower profits would be due to falling metal prices and slowing demand caused by international economic uncertainty. Meanwhile, China Railway said its lower profit stemmed from foreign exchange losses surrounding its Hong Kong listing. China Pacific Insurance Group also announced that its profits would drop by about 80% from 2007 due to a weaker economy and natural disasters.
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