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Domestic stocks gain for 3rd day as airlines soar
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Domestic stocks rose for a third straight day today, boosted by bullish performances among airlines.


The Shanghai Composite Index, which tracks both yuan-denominated A shares and hard-currency B shares, added 2.60 percent, or 149.19 points, to close at 5,897.19.


Among the stocks on the Shanghai Composite Index, 670 rose, 96 fell and 80 were unchanged.


Airlines staged a broad rally today after China Eastern Airlines Corp reported that its third-quarter profit almost doubled from a year earlier.


China Eastern, the nation's third-largest carrier, which is poised to sell a stake to Singapore Airlines Ltd, surged by the daily cap of 10 percent, or 1.34 yuan (18 US cents), to 14.75 yuan.


The Shanghai-based company said its third-quarter profit almost doubled from a year earlier to 976 million yuan, helped by a stronger yuan and higher passenger numbers.


Shanghai Airlines jumped 10 percent, or 1.42 yuan, to 15.64 yuan while China Southern Airlines, the nation's biggest carrier, also added the daily cap of 10 percent, or 2.08 yuan, to close at 22.85 yuan.


Bank stocks continued yesterday's strong performance today.


Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest listed lender, jumped 6.85 percent, or 0.56 yuan to 8.73 yuan. The bank said Thursday that its third-quarter profit rose 76 percent from a year earlier to 22.46 billion yuan as fee income soared and it earned more from extending loans.


ICBC also agreed to buy 20 percent of Standard Bank Group Ltd, Africa's largest bank, for 36.7 billion rand (US$5.62 billion) in the biggest overseas investment by a Chinese company. The acquisition could increase ICBC's forecast 2008 earnings by 2.9 percent, according to a Goldman Sachs Group Inc estimate.


ICBC's shares were suspended from trading until yesterday, when it jumped by 7.22 percent.


China Citic Bank Corp, a Beijing-based bank, today revealed that its third-quarter profit was 2.05 billion yuan, and loans and fees from selling mutual funds both increased after raising US$6 billion in an initial share sale this year. But it didn't give year-ago comparative figures. Citic Bank climbed 0.28 percent, or 0.03 yuan, to 10.91 yuan.


Non-ferrous metals also rose today.


Yunnan Copper Industry Co, a Kunming-based firm, surged 9.59 percent, or 7 yuan, to close at 80 yuan.


Aluminum Corporation of China also increased 4.04 percent, or 1.94 yuan, to 50.01 yuan. The world's second-biggest producer of alumina, also known as Chalco, today posted a third-quarter profit of 2.04 billion yuan, without giving a year-earlier comparison.


Elsewhere, China Oilfield Services Ltd, the drilling unit of the nation's third-largest oil producer, gained 10 percent, or 4.17 yuan, to close at 45.91 yuan today.


China State Shipbuilding, the country's biggest builder of vessels, said third-quarter profit rose almost six fold from a year earlier to 1.1 billion yuan, after it took control of assets including China's largest shipyard. The company added 4.52 percent, or 10.90 yuan to close at 251.97 yuan today.


But China Life Insurance Co, the world's biggest insurer by market value, lost 0.08 percent, or 0.06 yuan to 75.02 yuan despite reporting today that its third quarter profit rose to 7.82 billion yuan, fueled by investments in the globe's best-performing stock market. It didn't give year-on-year comparison.


(Shanghai Daily October 30, 2007)


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