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HPH Trust Q2 performance affected by global trade tensions

HUTCHISON Port Holdings Trust (HPH Trust), a container port trust affiliated with Hutchison Ports, saw its second-quarter performance affected by ongoing challenges in the global trade environment.

HPH Trust reported a 1.4 per cent dip in its revenue and other income to HK$2.7 billion (S$0.47 billion) for the three months ended June 30 from HK$2.8 billion the year before.

Profit attributable to HPH Trust unitholders was HK$136.5 million, down from HK$170 million. Earnings per unit attributable to unitholders was 1.57 HK cents, down from 1.95 HK cents in the year-ago period.

HPH Trust said in its results announcement on Wednesday that the global external environment continues to be challenging, with trade tensions between the United States and China having heightened in recent months, with new tit-for-tat tariffs imposed in the second quarter of 2019.

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"Trade protectionism, macroeconomic and political uncertainties, including the slowing Chinese and EU economies and the yet-to-be-resolved Brexit from the EU, threaten the recovery of global trade," it said. 

As a result, it noted, outbound cargoes to the US remained weak in the second quarter of 2019 and are expected to be volatile in the second half of this year.

"Given the uncertainties in the global trade outlook, HPH Trust management remains cautious about future cargo trends and will continue to adhere to cost discipline and efficiency improvements in order to face the challenges ahead."

HPH Trust has recommended a distribution rate of six HK cents per unit for the half-year ended June 30, compared to a distribution rate of 8.52 HK cents per unit the year before.

HPH Trust units last closed up US$0.005 at US$0.225.