China Stocks: Air China, Merchants Bank, Railway Construction

Shares of the following companies had unusual moves in China trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses and prices are as of the 3 p.m. close.

The Shanghai Composite Index, which tracks the bigger of China’s stock exchanges, lost 5.11, or 0.2 percent, to 2,913.81. The CSI 300 Index declined 0.4 percent to 3,243.30.

China’s Banks: China Merchants Bank Co. (600036 CH) rose 2.8 percent to 13.47 yuan, the biggest gain in two weeks. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co. (600000 CH), the Chinese partner of Citigroup Inc., added 1.8 percent to 13.18 yuan. Bank of Nanjing Co. (601009 CH), a Chinese lender part-owned by BNP Paribas SA, climbed 1.6 percent to 10.70 yuan.

China banks’ first-quarter profit may increase 28 percent as increases in interest rates boost net interest margins, Jin Lin, an analyst at Orient Securities Co., wrote in a report today. Merchants Bank, Pudong Bank and Bank of Nanjing may report earnings growth of more than 40 percent in the first three months of the year, according to the report.

China’s Airlines: Air China Ltd. (601111 CH), the country’s largest international carrier, lost 2.1 percent to 11.68 yuan. China Southern Airlines Co., (600029 CH), the biggest carrier by fleet size, sank 2.1 percent to 8.69 yuan. China Eastern Airlines Corp. (600115 CH) dropped 1.5 percent to 6.51 yuan.

Oil for April delivery gained as much as 1 percent to $100.64 a barrel in New York on concern turmoil in the Middle East will spread from Libya to Iran, the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Jet fuel costs accounted for an average 31 percent of China’s three biggest airlines’ operating expenses in 2009, according to the companies’ annual reports.

Changjiang Securities Co. (000783 CH) fell 3.2 percent to 13.11 yuan, the most since Feb. 22. The brokerage said it will sell additional shares on March 4 at a price of 12.67 yuan each. The company said in January it won approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission to sell as many as 600 million additional shares.

China Nonferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering and Construction Co. (000758 CH) gained 2.2 percent to 31.16 yuan, the most in two weeks. The company said it signed a contract worth 7.2 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) to build an aluminum plant for an Iranian company.

China Railway Construction Corp. (601186 CH) slumped 3.3 percent to 7.08 yuan, the lowest since Jan. 18. The builder of more than half the nation’s railroads said it halted work on three construction contracts in Libya, which have a combined value of $4.2 billion, and has evacuated most of its workers.

“The impact on China Railway’s earnings may be very negative this year,” said Zhang Qi, a market analyst at Haitong Securities Co. in Shanghai.

Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. (002202 CH}, China’s biggest listed maker of wind turbines, slid 2.3 percent to 20.47 yuan, the most since Feb. 18. Citigroup Inc.’s analysts cut the company’s Hong Kong stock rating to “sell” from “buy” and reduced their profit estimates for fiscal 2010-12 on rising competition and overcapacity.

--Zhang Shidong. Editor: Allen Wan

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Zhang Shidong in Shanghai at +86-21-6104-3040 or szhang5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net

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