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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mineral firms suffer wider market slump

Mineral firms suffer wider market slump

Stock Roundup

SOUTHERN Gold Ltd, an Australian mineral exploration company with numerous concessions in the east of the Kingdom, saw its shares fall 11.54 percent last week to close at A$0.115 (US$0.10) on the Australian Securities Exchange, with a late-afternoon gain on Friday failing to bring the stock back to its end-of-January value of $0.112.
On December 2, 2009, Southern Gold announced the start of extensive gold and diamond prospecting in Cambodia, pushing shares to a year-long high of $0.147.

The subsequent gain in the US dollar and corresponding tumble in gold prices took the wind out of Southern Gold’s sails, though speculation that international gold prices have hit a temporary floor may hold off further declines.

Rival Australian miner Oz Minerals Ltd, which also operates several sites in the Kingdom, saw news of healthy production fail to save share prices from wider systemic worries.

Concerns that China’s move to cool down its overheated economy could endanger the international recovery from last year’s crisis pushed down markets around the world, especially shares in companies that thrive on China’s ravenous appetite for raw materials. Oz Minerals shares trading on the Australian Shock Exchange fell 6.25 percent last week, closing at $0.844.

Shenzhou Ltd, a China-based textile manufacturer which also operates in Cambodia, saw its spectacular recent performance grind to a halt last week, the stock falling 8.43 percent to close at HK$9.01 (US$1.16) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange despite a largely positive profits warning for 2009 released the same day.

In a year that saw the world garment industry fall in value by double digits the Hong Kong Stock Exchange listed firm posted a huge 700 percent gain in 2009, opening the year at HK$1.27 and closing at HK$10.20 as China’s increasingly bloated economy bucked the global trend downwards.

Still, this peking duck appeared to have become overly fatty for investors in the Chinese territory last week, despite a 2009 profits outlook promising “comparatively large growth” compared to the previous year’s consolidated net profits of over 700 yuan ($102.5 million). Final, audited results will be published on April 30, the report added.

JSM Indochina, which recently started retrading on the London AIM board following an internal, board-level dispute that saw the chairman leave the Cambodia-Vietnam investment firm, at the end of last year, gained 3.39 percent to finish at $0.61 at the end of Friday trading.

The firm announced Friday that it would possibly return uninvested capital to its shareholders ahead of the completion of an audit for 2009, a previous request by investors and the main reason behind the recent turmoil at the firm.

Vimpelcom, which operates the Russian mobile brand Beeline, suffered a 5.18 percent fall on the Nasdaq last week despite good news from Moscow regarding its long-proposed merger.

The stock fell to $17.20 by the close Friday despite a Wednesday announcement that Vimpel-Communications would be permitted to connect with Ukrainian operator Kyivstar thereby creating the largest mobile firm in Russia.

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