UPDATE 1-Chalco post fourth straight quarterly loss

BEIJING Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:38am EDT

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BEIJING Oct 30 (Reuters) - Aluminum Corp of China Ltd (Chalco) , the country's top aluminium maker, posted its fourth straight quarterly net loss in the third quarter, hurt by low aluminium prices and rising costs.

Slower economic growth in China, the world's largest producer and consumer of the lightweight metal, and weakness in its property market has weighed on demand. Globally, the industry has been hit by a huge inventory overhang.

Aluminium prices have dropped by one third since May 2011 peaks around $2,800 a tonne and the global stock overhang is seen weighing on prices for the next few years.

Chalco's 1.08 billion yuan net loss was less than the average forecast of a 1.9 billion yuan loss from five analysts polled by Reuters, and compares with a profit of 555 million yuan in the same quarter a year earlier.

Chalco has sought to diversify into coal, iron ore and electricity but last month dropped a $926 million bid for a majority stake in Canada's Mongolia-focused coal miner SouthGobi Resources Ltd due to political opposition from Mongolia.

It also ended an agreement to buy a 29.9 percent stake in Winsway Coking Coal, saying it was unable to win approvals from Chinese and overseas authorities in a timely manner.

For the first nine months of the year, Chalco posted a net loss of 4.33 billion yuan, reversing a 968 million net profit in the same period last year.

Chalco's Hong Kong-listed shares closed up 0.3 percent on Tuesday. They are flat so far this year, underperforming the Hang Seng Index, which has gained 16 percent.

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