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Formosa Petrochemical, Nan Ya Report Losses on Global Slowdown

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Formosa Petrochemical Corp. and Nan Ya Plastics Corp., units of Formosa Plastics Group, reported fourth-quarter losses, missing estimates, as a slowing global economy cut demand.

Oil refiner Formosa Petrochemical posted a pretax loss of NT$4.39 billion ($145 million) for the three months ended Dec. 31, its parent said in a statement today. The average of four analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for a NT$8.93 billion pretax profit. Plastics processor Nan Ya reported a loss of NT$1.57 billion on a pretax basis, compared with the NT$8.87 billion pretax profit that analysts expected.

Group Chairman William Wong said last month he is downbeat on the first-half outlook for the oil and petrochemical industry because of the European debt crisis and the U.S. economy. Nomura Holdings Inc. estimates China’s gross domestic product will grow 7.9 percent in 2012, the slowest pace in 13 years. The mainland is Taiwan’s biggest overseas market.

“Customers cut factory utilization and stockpiles,” Danny Ho, a Taipei-based analyst at Yuanta Securities Co., said before the earnings announcement. “Clients lack confidence because of the uncertain industry outlook.”

Ho has a “hold” rating on Formosa Petrochemical and a “buy” recommendation for Nan Ya.

Chemical producer Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp. posted a pretax loss of NT$2.21 billion. The average of four analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for a pretax profit of NT$9.18 billion.

Polyvinyl chloride maker Formosa Plastics Corp. posted a pretax profit of NT$942 million in the fourth quarter, less than the NT$9.12 billion average of three analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on the story: Yu-huay Sun in Taipei at ysun7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net.

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