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Great Wall Declines After Quarterly Profit Growth Slows

Great Wall Motor Co., China’s biggest maker of sport-utility vehicles, tumbled the most in more than three months in Hong Kong trading after posting the slowest profit gain in at least seven quarters.

Great Wall fell 9 percent to HK$36.30 as of 2:16 p.m., poised for the biggest drop since Jan. 14, while the Hang Seng Index declined 0.3 percent. Hong Kong markets were shut April 18 and yesterday for public holidays.

Net income rose 5.8 percent to 2 billion yuan ($321 million) in the three months ended March, Hebei-based Great Wall said April 17. That’s the smallest increase since the quarter ended September 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Great Wall’s “1Q14 profit disappoints,” Vincent Ha, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG in Hong Kong, wrote in a note dated April 17. The results indicate intensifying competition in China’s SUV market, Ha wrote.

The carmaker will start selling its first tailor-made SUV, H2, in July, the company said April 20. It started accepting orders on April 12 for the delayed Haval H8 model, whose sales Ha said would be crucial for Great Wall this year.

Great Wall said it sold 187,761 units in the quarter ended March, accounting for 21 percent of its 2014 sales target of 890,000 vehicles.

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