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Chinese SOEs major losers in 2012


09:16, April 29, 2013

BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- China's state-owned enterprises (SOEs) lost their position as the most profitable sector and became the country's biggest losers last year, according to the annual results listed companies reported for 2012.

The top 1- market losers last year were SOEs with a combined loss of about 50 billion yuan (8 billion U.S. dollars), their financial statements revealed.

China COSCO Holdings Co., the country's largest shipping company, topped the list for the second consecutive year, losing 9.56 billion yuan in 2012 after a deficit of 10.45 billion yuan for 2011.

COSCO was followed by Aluminum Corp. of China, the country's largest alumina producer and Metallurgical Corporation of China Ltd., which reported a loss of 8.23 billion yuan and 6.95 billion yuan, respectively.

Half of the top 10 poor-performing companies were in the iron and steel sector, including 4.16 billion yuan in losses for Angang Steel, 3.86 billion yuan for Maanshan Iron & Steel, 3.83 billion yuan for Shandong Iron & Steel, 3.5 billion yuan for Anyang Iron & Steel and 3.25 billion yuan for Valin Steel.

All the top losing companies blamed their disappointing results on the downward trend of their industries and the broader macroeconomy.

Luo Xiaoming, chief strategy analyst with Ping An Securities, disagreed, saying they have always depended on their sheer size to avert risks, which proved ineffective last year.

Their huge size means even a small percentage loss will translate into a big number in economic losses for them, Luo said, adding that such SOEs in the red were mostly in a sector that is easily affected by changes in the economic cycle.

Even though the bad performance of such SOEs was "understandable" amid the lingering European debt crisis and a slowing Chinese economy, experts said they believed that the companies should do more than just pointing fingers at others.

Zhang Zhaowei, an analyst with Hua'an Securities, said the iron and steel industry should not simply attribute their huge losses to the slowdown in the general economy.

He said the steel makers were too aggressive in increasing their size during the good times but still lack the capabilities of negotiating iron ore prices, leading to a worsening overcapacity in producing low-end products.

"The huge losses are just a disastrous result they should swallow after years of indiscriminate expansion," he added.

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