PetroChina Blames Government Controls for Profit Plungeadmin
PetroChina Ltd. said first-quarter profit plunged 31.5 percent in large part because of government controls that bar it from passing on record crude-oil costs to consumers.
China’s biggest oil company said profit was 28.8 billion yuan ($4.1 billion) for the three months ending March 31. PetroChina is the publicly traded arm of government-owned China National Petroleum Corp.
Chinese producers are suffering heavy losses that they blame on government controls that have frozen retail gasoline and diesel prices.
PetroChina’s first-quarter revenue jumped 41.9 percent over the same period of 2007 to 259 billion yuan ($37 billion). Sales of gasoline, diesel and kerosene rose 18.5 percent, driven by China’s economic boom and increased car ownership.
PetroChina American Depositary Shares fell $3.77, or 2.5 percent, to $145.73 in afternoon trading.