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[SHANGHAI] Chinese oil giant Sinopec, Asia's biggest refiner, saw its first half net profits drop 21.6 per cent, it said, hit by low oil prices.
The company made 19.92 billion yuan (S$4.05 billion) in the January to June period, compared with 25.42 billion yuan in the same period last year, according to a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange, where it is listed.
"In the first half of 2016, international crude prices recorded a sharp decline from prices in the first half of 2015, and bottomed out during the period," the oil giant said in the statement late Sunday.
The sharp decline in oil prices overshadowed a rise in domestic demand, it added, with domestic consumption of oil products up by 4.4 per cent in the period.
Investors were disappointed with the results. On Monday morning, Sinopec shares fell 1.07 per cent in Hong Kong and were 0.20 per cent lower in Shanghai, where it is also listed.
The decline in oil prices has also hit China's two other major producers.
China's biggest oil producer PetroChina said last week net profit plunged 97.9 per cent year-on-year in the first half, to 531 million yuan.
The country's main offshore oil and gas producer Cnooc reported a net loss of 7.74 billion yuan in the first six months of the year.