H share Tianjin Bohai Chemical Industry (Group) is confident it will recover some of its overdue deposits from four mainland banks this year but remains cautious about the outlook of the marine-chemical sector in the second half. Deputy president Wang Baodi did not explain why the banks had refused to repay the deposits, some of which had been overdue for three years, saying only the reason was 'complicated'. He dismissed suggestions the banks were short of funding or that someone responsible for the accounts had disappeared. Tianjin Bohai is seeking 33.05 million yuan (about HK$30.75 million) in fixed deposits which are overdue for payment. The money is deposited with branches of Hua Xia Bank in Beijing, Agricultural Bank in Shenyang, Bank of Communications in Hangzhou and China Construction Bank in Tangshan. Legal action has been taken against the branches. Mr Wang said some of the money would be recouped by the end of the year. The company was collecting another 28 million yuan in overdue deposits after a court ruled in its favour. He said the money was placed with the branches outside Tianjin, where the company was headquartered, because it wanted to establish connections with different banks. Tianjin Bohai did not disclose the problem until last month when it announced its interim results. Senior accountant Yin Guanhui said it had formal deposit slips from the banks and the company lawyer's opinion was that the money could be recovered. The amount accounted for 1.46 per cent of its net asset value, which did not constitute a discloseable reason, he said. Meanwhile, Tianjin Bohai forecast a tough operating environment ahead, although the market had bottomed out. Mr Wang said the market would continue to be plagued by repercussions of the regional financial crisis, fierce competition and a supply glut. He said more than 10 domestic soda-ash manufacturers were discussing the setting up of a self-disciplined price to halt price-cutting competition. Other than soda ash, prices of its other chemical products - caustic soda and PVC - had been rebounding since late last month, as a result of the state's stimulus package to boost demand and the anti-smuggling drive. Its first-half earnings plunged 95.3 per cent to 1.29 million yuan.