Climbing material costs and inflation restrained the profit growth of listed companies on the Chinese mainland in the first half of the year.
Shanghai-listed companies earned a combined 481 billion yuan (US$70 billion) in net income in the period, rising 15.85 percent on a yearly basis, much slower than the 69.2-percent growth in the same period a year earlier, according to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Revenue for the 863 firms gained 24.98 percent to 4.54 trillion yuan, while costs rose 35.65 percent to 3.98 trillion yuan, the Shanghai bourse said on its Website. "Most listed firms kept an upward trend in profit by boosting main business and controlling costs despite of the hiking material costs and rising inflation," the bourse said.
The Shanghai Composite Index tumbled about 50 percent in the first half, equivalent to 14-trillion-yuan loss in market value.
Meanwhile, the rising cost of materials costs drove the country's consumer price index up 7.9 percent in the same period.
Stated-owned enterprises controlled by the central government accounted for 83 percent of the combined profit, contributing 67.49 percent to the growth.
The finance industry outperformed other industries as its combined profit accounted for 53.52 percent thanks to the expanded interest spread, intermediate business of banks and decreased income tax rate, the statement said.
From January 1, China unified corporate income tax rates for domestic and foreign firms, cutting the rate for Chinese firms to 25 percent from 33 percent.
Income tax accounted for 21.02 percent of profit in the first half, compared with 27.45 percent of a year earlier.
The finance sector, petroleum and building material sectors were among the biggest gainers from the reform.
Meanwhile, 488 companies listed in Shenzhen rose 16.13 percent in net income to 58.72 billion yuan and revenue advanced 23.11 percent to 944 billion yuan, the Shenzhen bourse said in the separate statement.
"Energy, consumption, material and finance industries accounted for 67.2 percent of the circulated market value, reflecting defect of the A-share market – overweight of cyclical industries," said Liu Haobo, an analyst with CEBM Group Ltd.
"Cyclical industries are easily affected by the macro economy, which will produce fluctuation to the market when the economy is in a downward trend," Liu said.
(Shanghai Daily September 2, 2008)