Maanshan Steel Says 2008 Profit Estimated to Fall 71%

Maanshan Iron & Steel (600808) Co., China’s fourth-largest steelmaker by value, said 2008 profit was estimated to have fallen 71 percent because of higher raw material and fuel costs and a drop in the value of inventories.

Net income was about 717 million yuan ($105 million) last year, compared with 2.48 billion yuan a year earlier, the Maanshan, Anhui province-based company said today in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange. The estimated results were calculated under Chinese accounting standards.

Maanshan Steel (323) joined rivals Angang Steel Co. (347) and China Oriental Group Co. (581) in forecasting profit declines as a global recession has curbed demand by builders and carmakers. Steel demand in China, the world’s largest user of the metal, may improve in the second or third quarter as the government’s stimulus measures kicks in, the China Iron and Steel Association Vice Chairman Luo Bingsheng said Feb. 23.

Maanshan Steel fell for a fifth day, down 3.7 percent to HK$2.36 today in Hong Kong. The stock has fallen 14 percent this year, compared with a 10 percent drop in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

China’s steelmakers had an aggregate loss of 29.1 billion yuan in December after losing 12.8 billion yuan in November and 5.84 billion yuan in October, the steel association has said.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Helen Yuan in Shanghai at hyuan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Teo Chian Wei at cwteo@bloomberg.net

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