China: Shares in China Resources Cement Holdings fell by as much as 5% on the Hong Kong stock-exchange today after the cement maker warned of a sharp fall in first-half earnings. Its losses demonstrate that weaknesses in the world's second-largest economy are starting to hit corporate profits. An increasing number of companies are feeling the pinch of a slowdown in consumer demand and the economy as a whole.
China's central bank cut its policy rates in June 2012 for the first time since the onset of the global financial crisis because economic data for April and May 2012 suggested that growth was weakening more than previously thought.
Yesterday, Gansu Qilianshan Cement, a small Shanghai-listed cement producer, forecast that its net profit would decrease by at least 50% year-on-year in the first half of 2012. In the first half of 2011 it made a net profit of US$38.9m.