Tianjin Port Tumbles Most in Six Years as Blast Concerns Deepen

Updated on

Tianjin Port Development Holdings Ltd. fell the most since 2009 as the death toll from last week’s blasts rose and officials battled to contain the spread of deadly chemicals.

Tianjin Port sank 13 percent at the close in Hong Kong, the third-biggest decline on the Hang Seng Composite Index, which fell 0.7 percent. China Life Insurance Co. led losses by the country’s insurers on media reports payouts may reach 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion).

“There’s more information coming in and the market is worried that throughput in Tianjin port may not recover in the short term,” said Kenny Tang, chief executive officer of Jun Yang Securities Co. in Hong Kong.

Wednesday’s explosions at a hazardous-chemicals warehouse killed 114 people, while another 70 are still missing, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing Gong Jiansheng, a Tianjin municipal official. About 700 tons of sodium cyanide were stored at the site at the time of the blasts and most of the stockpile was unaffected, the news agency said. Tianjin is the world’s 10th-busiest port and has become a gateway to northern China for shipments of metal ore, coal, autos and crude oil.

China Life, the nation’s biggest insurer, fell 1.6 percent in Hong Kong. Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. slid 1 percent to its lowest level in five months, while China Pacific Insurance Group Co. declined 1.4 percent.

“There’s some concern that profitability of insurance companies will be impacted by the Tianjin accident,” said Wu Kan, a Shanghai-based fund manager at JK Life Insurance Co., who is keeping holdings unchanged.

Insurance Claims

Claims from the blast may range from 5 billion yuan to 10 billion yuan, China Youth Daily reported on Aug. 15, citing Hao Yansu, an academic at the Central University of Finance and Economics.

Most of the missing are firefighters, Xinhua said. A total of 698 people remain in hospital, of whom 57 are still in critical condition, it reported.

About 113 vessels are anchored in the sea off Tianjin port, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The blasts caused the port’s northern wharf to be closed to vessels carrying oil and hazardous products. Toyota Motor Corp. will shut three of its production lines in China through Aug. 19 because of evacuation advisories still in effect, while companies with local units such as U.S. agricultural-machinery maker Deere & Co. said facilities were damaged or operations affected.

Tianjin Development Holdings Ltd. slid 3.2 percent. Tianjin Port Co. declined 1.3 percent in Shanghai.