China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO), the country's largest shipping firm, revealed on Wednesday that sluggish market demand led to it suffering the heaviest loss among listed Chinese firms in the first nine months of 2012.
The company's loss in July-September widened by 1.53 billion yuan (243 million U.S. dollars), or 0.15 yuan per share, and brought the combined loss in the first three quarters of 2012 to 6.4 billion yuan. This was 30 percent larger than the same period of last year, COSCO said in its quarterly report filed with the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges.
The Shanghai- and Hong Kong-listed company's business revenues moved up merely 0.2 percent to 53.71 billion yuan in the January-September period.
COSCO's huge loss in the first nine months followed a huge loss of 10.45 billion last year.
"A massive loss in 2012 looks certain for COSCO," according to the latest analysts report by brokerage firm Guotai Jun'an Securities.
The company will be warned by the market regulator and its shares will be placed under special treatment if it records losses for two consecutive years, under China's regulation rules.
The company's container volumes in the third quarter rose 13.4 percent year on year to 2.15 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit), while its dry-bulk fleet saw a decline of 16.2 percent to 56.12 million tonnes.
Share price of COSCO stood unchanged at 4.14 yuan in Shanghai but rose 4.9 percent to 3.85 HK dollars in Hong Kong on Wednesday.