Stanley Ho Hung-sun's China Online slumped 24.07 per cent after it issued a profit warning saying it expected to record a substantial loss for the six months to June 30. Shares closed at 4.1 HK cents on volume of 25.72 million - the 16th-highest volume in yesterday's market. The firm will report its interim earnings on September 25 and said the loss was 'principally attributable to its loss in the trading and investment of financial instruments'. At December 31 last year China Online held listed securities with a market value of HK$1.82 billion, which accounted for 72.22 per cent of the firm's total assets of HK$2.52 billion. Since the end of last year the value of these investments is likely to have fallen as the Hang Seng Index has slumped 38.26 per cent in the same period. 'The performance of their investments may be in line with the general market,' said Tung Tai Securities associate director Kenny Tang Sing-hing. During last year the company made a gain of HK$220.11 million on the sale of part of its holding in Pacific Century CyberWorks. At the end of last year China Online held 0.67 per cent of CyberWorks. Last year, China Online recorded net profit of HK$1.33 billion on turnover of HK$2.44 billion. The company's main operational business is the distribution of mobile-phone handsets through its wholly owned subsidiary Star Telecom. Despite last year's strong results, China Online noted in its annual report that falling equity prices were affecting the company.