Listed Firms Report Small Losses in Sichuan Quake
(Beijing) – Listed companies in the Sichuan quake zone issued public statements on April 21 saying the magnitude 7.0 earthquake had only limited impact on their businesses.
The earthquake hit Ya'an, Sichuan Province, on the morning of April 20, killing at least 188 people and injured thousands.
Most of the 91 public companies that have operations in the quake zone – 55 listed in Shenzhen and 36 in Shanghai – said in their statements that no employees were injured and no assets were damaged.
However, eight companies reported significant losses. Agricultural giant Sichuan New Hope Group predicted the quake would cost it 25 million yuan as a result of damaged office buildings and facilities, and interrupted of production. China Resources Sanjiu Medical & Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. has halted production in its Ya'an subsidiary, which generated a net profit of 180 million yuan for the group in 2012.
The Ya'an government said in a weibo post that direct economic losses in the city would be at least 1.4 billion yuan. Neighboring Chongqing said four counties within its borders were affected and would suffer direct economic losses of 2.6 million yuan.
Fan Wei, an analyst in the fixed income department of Hongyuan Securities, told National Business Daily newspaper that the total losses due to the quake would be less than 100 billion yuan.
Fan said that since the southwestern province of Sichuan produces one-third of the nation's pork, the quake would put pressure on the supply of the meat and boost inflation in the rest of second and the third quarter.
Donations, Rescue Work
The Ministry of Civil Affairs has not announced a list of organizations officially approved to receive donations. In the past, the public has been angered that donations ended up in government coffers.
Two days after the quake, the ministry had only published a notice asking civil affairs departments at various levels of government to provide guidance and supervision regarding donations.
After the 2008 quake in Wenchuan, Sichuan Province, the ministry listed 16 national foundations as official donation targets. Following the 2010 earthquake in Yushu, in the Qinghai region, the ministry unveiled a list of 15 foundations. The ministry required 13 foundations to hand over their funds to the Qinghai government, Red Cross Society of China or a foundation under the ministry. This prompted public criticism that the donations were being used in ways people had not intended.
The Hong Kong government has pledged a HK$ 100 million donation to the Sichuan government.
Several countries, including Japan, have expressed a willingness to send rescuers, but only the help of a 198-member team from Russia has been accepted.
Quake-triggered landslides blocked several rivers in Ya'an, creating five swollen reservoirs that threaten to burst. However, the Ministry of Water Resources said on April 21 that the reservoirs had been emptied. Two medium-sized reservoirs and 52 smaller ones were damaged, the ministry said.
The Ministry of Land and Resources said that on the day of the quake it sent 300 experts in 40 teams to survey geological hazards, including landslide-prone areas and reservoirs.
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