Mainland-backed bank and property investment group Min Xin Holdings says net profit rose 54.8 per cent to HK$43.67 million in the six months to June, helped by exceptional gains and contributions from associated companies. At operating level, the company suffered a loss of HK$27.48 million, against a profit of HK$3.31 million in the previous interim period. The company booked an exceptional item of HK$12.44 million from the disposal of investment properties. Buoyant profit was also derived from its investment in Xiamen International Bank. The performance of the company's insurance subsidiary was adversely affected by the slowdown in the Hong Kong economy and intense competition in the industry. Basic earnings per share rose to 14.75 HK cents from 9.54 cents a year earlier. As with last year, the company said it would not pay an interim dividend. Company chairman Chen Yuankui said a US$18 million investment in two expressways in Fujian province was expected to contribute to profit by the end of the year. The company also said yesterday it had signed an agreement in Singapore for a US$12 million term loan facility. The two-year loan was arranged by the Singapore branches of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Agricultural Bank of China. The money will be used as working capital and to invest in infrastructure projects in Fujian.