* Core profit HK$10.8 bln; net up 18 pct to HK$13 bln
* Tightening step won't be widely relaxed in short term
* Shares fall 2.3 pct vs benchmark's 0.5 pct decline
(Adds company comment, context)
By Clare Jim
HONG KONG, Aug 1 China Overseas Land &
Investment Ltd (COLI) said on Friday its first-half
core profit jumped 34 percent, but warned of challenges ahead in
the industry such as tight liquidity and faster consolidation.
The state-backed company's core profit during the period was
HK$10.8 billion ($1.39 billion), while net profit was HK$13
billion, up 18 percent from a year earlier.
"It is expected that in the short term the tightening
measure will not be widely relaxed and the property market in
China is confronted with relatively high challenges," Chairman
Hao Jian Min said in a statement.
"Under a market environment with tight liquidity onshore and
offshore, market consolidation will proceed at a faster manner.
Property developers which are weak in managerial and financial
capability and with a high gearing will likely be eliminated."
Shares of COLI eased 2.3 percent to HK$23.25 before the
announcement, underperforming a 0.5 percent fall in the broader
Many analysts expected the market to bottom out in the
second half thanks to further government stimulus and easier
credit, although margins will continue to be squeezed across the
board as developers offer discounts to boost
($1 = 7.7498 Hong Kong Dollars)
(Editing by Stephen Coates and Christopher Cushing)