(Adds quotes, share price)
HONG KONG May 14 Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings
Ltd, maker of footwear for companies such as Nike Inc
and Adidas, suspended production in Vietnam
on Wednesday amid anti-China protests over a disputed area in
the South China Sea.
Thousands of Vietnamese set fire to factories and stormed
industrial zones in the south of the country, with Taiwanese
companies bearing the brunt of the damage, to protest against
Chinese oil drilling in a part of the sea claimed by
Yue Yuen, a $4.7 billion company controlled by Taiwan-listed
Pou Chen Corp, told Reuters it was unclear if
production would resume on Thursday. It added there had been no
damage to factory facilities and its workers were safe.
"With respect to Vietnam, we have told workers to take a day
off today and the operations are closed today for the entire
country," said Jerry Shum, head of investor relations at Yue
Yuen in Hong Kong.
He added that the disruption on Wednesday would not have any
significant impact on the business.
Vietnam accounts for about a third of Yue Yuen's global
production capacity, which amounted to 313 million pairs of
shoes last year.
Shares of Yue Yuen slid nearly 5 percent in Hong Kong trade
to their lowest since November last year, lagging a 1 percent
gain for the benchmark Hang Seng Index. Pou Chen's stock
was up 0.8 percent in Taiwan.
The suspension is the latest blow to Yue Yuen after
thousands of workers went on strike last month at a complex in
China to demand better social benefits. They returned to work at
the end of April after the company agreed to meet some of their
($1 = 7.7517 Hong Kong Dollars)
(Reporting by Donny Kwok and Rachel Lee; Editing by Anne Marie
Roantree and Miral Fahmy)