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Chile's Socovesa Reports First-Half Loss of 6.9 Billion Pesos

By Nathan Gill and James Attwood
Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Socovesa SA, Chile’s second-biggest building company by market value, reported a first-half loss as an economic slowdown stifled new home sales.

Socovesa, based in Santiago, lost 6.86 billion pesos ($12.4 million), compared with a profit of 2 billion pesos in the same six months last year, according to data posted today on the Web site of Chile’s securities regulator. It didn’t provide separate second-quarter results.

Sales slumped 42 percent to 4.17 billion pesos, according to the statement. Construction in Chile may contract about 2.5 percent this year while new housing sales drop as much as 25 percent, Lorenzo Constans, chairman of the Chamber of Construction, said in a June 17 interview.

Revenue declined because of the “continued high volatility and still uncertain macroeconomic outlook” globally, the company wrote in the statement.

Socovesa fell 1.2 percent to 154 pesos at 4:13 p.m. New York time in Santiago trading. The stock has rallied 81 percent this year as the central bank slashed the benchmark lending rate to a record low and the government started spending savings from copper exports to cushion the economy from the global slump. Socovesa tumbled 60 percent last year.

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