Hutchison Port Holdings Trust falls ahead of results

REUTERS - Hutchison Port Holdings Trust fell more than 2 per cent on Tuesday, heading for its sharpest one-day loss in five months, as the trust is expected to report weak results later in the day.

The trust, backed by Asia's richest man Li Ka-Shing, saw its unit price down nearly 7 per cent so far this year, compared with the 2.3 per cent rise in Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index.

HPHT, which owns and operates port assets in Hong Kong and the neighbouring Chinese city of Shenzhen, fell as much as 3.3 per cent to match a low of US$0.73 (S$0.92) hit nearly four weeks ago as trading volume more than doubled its 30-day average daily volume.

"Earnings typically build in 2Q towards the 3Q summer peak; however, the impact of the dock workers strike, slower PRC export volumes and changes in shipping patterns are expected to have combined negative with the pernicious effect of higher wages to keep NPAT (Net Profit After Tax) at around 1Q13's levels," said Credit Suisse analysts in a research note.

The net profit in the previous quarter declined 15.5 per cent on the year to HK$380.3 million (S$62.2 million).

Credit Suisse maintained its "underperform" call on the trust, with a target price of US$0.72.

The trust is due to report its earnings for the quarter ended June 30 after market closes.

The Straits Times Index was up 0.1 per cent to 3,241.94 points.