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Firm attributes losses to logging crackdown

Firm attributes losses to logging crackdown

CHINA Asean Resources Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed company operating a timber concession in Kratie province and a medical supply business in China, on Tuesday blamed government red tape associated with logging for part of a US$2.858 million loss over the nine months ending September 30.

It earned $3.645 million in profit in the same period a year earlier, it said in a statement announcing quarter three financial results.

The firm said it had halted logging on a 10,000-hectare concession in Kratie province that originally contained more than 5 million cubic metres of timber stock. It made $6.72 million from the site in the first nine months of 2008.

The statement said the company had been inadvertently affected by a government ban on the illegal export of timber to save forest and promote carbon-credit trading.

“This crackdown on the illegal timber trade has had unintended negative repercussions on the legal export of timber products,” it said. “These include an increase in administrative procedures in relation to the export of timber products, and significant delays in the processing of trade documentation.”

The Ministry of Forestry declined to comment Thursday, citing confidentiality concerns.

China Asean said it intends to use the cleared land for cultivating rubber and acacia trees along with jatropha, a shrub used to produce bio-
diesel.

The company's share price plummeted 8 percent this week to HK$0.138 (US$0.02) at the end of trading Friday.

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