Post-quake efforts boost medical, infrastructure stocks

By Wang Xinyuan Source:Global Times Published: 2013-4-22 23:23:01

Distiller, insurance and tourism share prices slumped Monday, but medical and infrastructure stocks soared after the earthquake that hit Ya'an in Southwest China's Sichuan Province over the weekend, leading to 192 deaths by press time and a surge in post-quake rescue and reconstruction efforts.

About 91 listed companies in the quake-hit areas or nearby have disclosed the impact of the disaster, with the majority of them reporting no casualties or property losses.

The most affected company is reportedly Sichuan-based agribusiness New Hope Liuhe, which suffered property losses estimated at 25 million yuan ($4 million).

But the company said that its 10 affected subsidiaries had resumed operations. Shares in New Hope Liuhe fell by 0.36 percent Monday.

Sichuan-based distillers Wuliangye Yibin, Sichuan Swellfun, Sichuan Tuopai Shede Wine and Luzhou Laojiao saw a drop in share price of between 2.3 and 2.88 percent.

Emei Shan Tourism also saw its shares fall 2.76 percent, with local tourism expected to be affected after the disaster.

Life and property insurance companies also suffered a slide in share prices, amid a rise in claims related to the earthquake.

The market reaction was similar to that after the earthquake that hit Wenchuan in Sichuan Province on May 12, 2008, according to a China Securities report released Monday.

But despite the bearish trend, Northeast Pharmaceutical Group and Shandong Lukang Pharmaceutical saw their share prices rise by the daily trading limit of 10 percent Monday, compared with a slight fall in the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index of 0.11 percent.

"The pharmaceutical companies produce antibiotics that can be used (for infections) in post-quake rescue efforts," said Chen Min, an analyst at Founder Securities, noting that the overall impact on the market will be limited as the earthquake was not as disastrous as the one that struck Wenchuan in 2008.

The estimated direct economic cost could be more than 10 billion yuan, but that would still be far below the loss of 845 billion from the Wenchuan earthquake, according to a report by Barclays Capital sent to the Global Times Monday.


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