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Net Profit of 540 Listed Firms Up 8.6%
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Total net profits of approximately 540 Chinese listed companies reached 42.7 billion yuan (US$5.34 billion) in the first half year, surging 8.6 percent over the same period last year, according to calculations made from half-yearly reports published up to Tuesday.

The statistics compiled by Wind Information, a consulting company that tracks stock investment in China, are based on the half-yearly reports of more than 540 companies, nearly half the 1,340 listed companies in the country. 494 of them were profitable.

Thanks to high demand for resources and international price rises for non-ferrous metals, net profits grew fastest in the non-ferrous metal sector, increasing 105.45 percent. This was followed by the food and beverage sector, the building materials sector and the machinery sector, whose profits grew respectively 53.03 percent, 50.88 percent and 46.26 percent.

Rocketing house prices in China saw profits in the real estate industry rise by 37.92 percent. However, the figure was 82 percent for the same period last year.

Government macro-control policies aimed at reining in housing prices have shrunk the industry's profit. Eleven of the 31 real estate companies that have already released their half-yearly reports reported a decline in net profits and three of them made a loss.

Experts said the rise in fixed asset investment in the first half year had stimulated the machinery sector. This year is the first year of the 11th Five-year Plan, so a large number of construction projects are being kicked off, boosting the demand for machinery.

(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2006)

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