New World hits low point

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 September, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 September, 2001, 12:00am

New World Development's share price has slipped to a 14-year low amid concerns about its earnings for the year to June 30.

The counter has lost 20 per cent in the past three sessions. It closed at HK$5 yesterday, compared with Friday's close of HK$6.25.

On Monday it shed 12.8 per cent and yesterday it finished 2.91 per cent down for the day after hitting a 17-year low of HK$4.95 in the morning.

The share-price slump came on increasing concerns about its annual returns, to be revealed next month.

Some Chinese-language newspapers reported New World management had issued a profit warning during a meeting with stock analysts - denied by the company on Tuesday.

'No such profit warning or such information regarding any provisions . . . has been communicated by the company, its directors or its employees to the investment community,' it said.

One analyst said New World staff recently met some analysts to seek their opinions on the company but had not released any figures.

He believed the recent decline in New World's share might be triggered by some investment funds' re-portfolio activities because they wanted to increase holdings in blue-chips with brighter prospects.

On Monday, HSBC Securities (Asia) reduced its forecast for New World's profit for the year to June 30 to HK$515 million, down 45.8 per cent.

It said it expected lower earnings from infrastructure, construction and hotel businesses and possible losses and provisions for its listed securities and e-commerce investments.

Another analyst said there were losses already in the public domain.