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COSCO loss deepens in H1

By Liang Fei (Global Times)

10:49, August 31, 2012

China COSCO Holdings Co, which owns the world's largest bulk cargo fleet, saw its losses in the first half of the year expand to 4.87 billion yuan ($767 million) amid an industry downturn, according to its filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange Thursday.

The company posted a deficit of 2.7 billion yuan during the same period of 2011. For the whole year of 2011, it incurred losses of 10.45 billion yuan, making it the No.1 loss-making company on the A-share market last year.

"In the first half of this year, the capacity of global dry bulk cargo fleet increased 15 percent year-on-year, while demand growth was just 6.2 percent," the company said in the statement, noting that overcapacity will remain a serious challenge for the sector in the second half of the year.

Zhou Liwei, an expert at the China Classification Society, told the Global Times that so far there is still no clear sign that the sector will improve any time soon, and shipping companies may see further losses in the second half.

"The international shipping sector will continue to suffer as demand for commodities further slackens amid a global economic downturn," Zhou noted.

China Shipping Container Lines Co, another major shipping company, also posted its half-year financial report Thursday. Its net losses expanded to 1.28 billion yuan in the first half, nearly double the losses during the same period a year ago.

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