HeidelbergCement Drops as HSBC Rings Asia Alarm: Frankfurt Mover

HeidelbergCement AG (HEI), the world’s third-largest maker of cement, fell the most since Aug. 27 after an HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) analyst said currency headwinds and a slowdown in Indonesia will cap the stock’s growth potential.

Shares in the Heidelberg, Germany-based company fell as much as 3.4 percent, and were trading down 2.5 percent at 57.78 as of 1:55 p.m. in Frankfurt. Trading volumes were at 70 percent of the three month daily average.

HeidelbergCement has climbed 26 percent this year, more than its larger competitors Lafarge SA (LG) and Holcim Ltd., which have increased 7.8 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively. The company, which dates back to 1873, is pursuing 1.01 billion euros ($1.37 billion) in cost savings by the end of 2013 as it targets higher revenue and operating income, while “significantly” increasing pretax profit.

“We believe that the shares are approaching fair value,” John Fraser-Andrews, a London-based analyst for HSBC, said in a note to clients today as he cut his rating to neutral from buy. HeidelbergCement will be “dented by the slowdown in Indonesia and emerging market currency translation,” he said.

HSBC also downgraded HeidelbergCement’s Swiss competitor Holcim Ltd. (HOLN), prompting that stock to fall as much as 1.8 percent. Lafarge dropped as much as 1.7 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Webb in Munich at awebb25@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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