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Shares tank on weak sales report

HONG KONG -- China Resources Beer (Holdings) fell sharply here during Thursday trading as China's largest brewer reported dismal sales numbers for the latter half of 2015.

     The stock plunged 14.1% to close at 12.54 Hong Kong dollars ($1.64).

     China Resources Beer announced during the noon break that sales slipped 5% from a year earlier to HK$15.2 billion during the July-December half. The company sold 5.43 million kiloliters of beer during that period.

     In 2014, the Chinese beer market shrank compared with the previous year for the first time since 1998, when data was first collected. The contraction happened amid a slowing economy and austerity measures. Due to those trends, the company's chief financial officer has indicated that volume sales may diminish.

     However, China Resources Beer had remained resilient in the Hong Kong market relative to other mainland-linked stocks, which have tanked recently. The sales report may have been the final straw driving investors to take profits. 

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