Tianjin Bohai Chemical Industry (Group) is counting on a return to profit by buying a toll road and bridge as well as a sewage-processing plant in Tianjin, according to general manager Gong Suozhu. The company is in talks with Tianjin authorities about acquiring the assets from the city's construction department. Tianjin Bohai hopes the acquisitions and any profits they might bring will help it avoid suspension from Shanghai's stock market. The China Securities Regulatory Commission suspends share trading in companies which have suffered losses for three consecutive years. It also requires these companies to restructure. Tianjin Bohai's losses narrowed to 364.37 million yuan (about HK$338.8 million) last year from 608.05 million yuan in 1998. Mr Gong said the company also aimed to improve core business profitability this year by boosting efficiency and restructuring assets. However, Tianjin Bohai has to overcome 'legal and technical barriers' in the attempt to buy the assets, Mr Gong said. It is rare for an H share to move beyond its core business due to the mainland's stringent industrial policies. Moreover, the company had difficulty raising funds, Mr Gong said. The assets under consideration have no direct bearing on Tianjin Bohai's core business. Mr Gong said the business environment would remain difficult this year as supply still exceeded demand, while the high price of raw materials had led to a rise in production costs.