CNOOC profits and dividend fall

China's leading offshore oil producer CNOOC Ltd said yesterday its first-half net profit fell by almost a fifth – twice as much as the market had expected – and it cut its dividend by 40 per cent to make room for its $15.1bn acquisition of Canadian oil firm Nexen. Shares fell as much as 5.5 per cent, and closed down 2.96 per cent in Hong Kong. January-June net profit slid to 31.87bn yuan (£3.17bn) from 39.34bn yuan a year earlier.