Thursday, August 3rd, 2017


Less high-quality coffee beans coming from Brazil, say traders, exporters

SAO PAULO, Aug 3 — Exporters and traders operating in the Brazilian coffee market are reporting fewer-than-expected deliveries of high-quality beans, blaming bad weather, a beetle infestation and farmers sitting on stocks as the harvest wraps…

Tanjung Enim PSC – Globaltec unit gets Indonesian nod to prepare plan of development

PETALING JAYA: Globaltec Formation Bhd’s (Globaltec) share price rose to a high of 6.5 sen yesterday before closing unchanged on news that its Australian Securities Exchange-listed subsidiary NuEnergy Gas Ltd (NGY) has received approval to prepare its plan of development for the Tanjung Enim Production Sharing Contract (PSC) in South Sumatra, Indonesia.

Globaltec’s shares, trading in which was halted pending the announcement, closed at 5.5 sen, with some 119 million changing hands. It was the most actively traded counter yesterday.

The announcement is a significant milestone for the Globaltec group’s aspirations to deliver its first coal-bed methane supply.

In a filing with the stock exchange yesterday, Globaltec said NGY received the approval from the Indonesian Special Task Force for Upstream Oil and Gas Business Activities (commonly known as SKK Migas).

NGY will work closely with SKK Migas to submit the plan of development to Indonesia’s energy and mineral resources minister, through the head of SKK Migas, before the end of the year.

Both the partners for the Tanjung Enim PSC, PT Pertamina (Indonesia’s state-owned oil and gas company) and PT Bukit Asam (Indonesia’s state-owned coal mining company), have given their commitments to the plan of development preparation and to the long-term development of the PSC.

NGY has a 45% participating interest in the Tanjung Enim coal-bed methane, while the other two parties have a 27.5% interest each.

The proposed concept for the initial plan of development, plans for the development in two target areas, in the north and north-west of the Tanjung Enim PSC where NGY has focused its exploration, drilling and pilot production activities over the last eight years.

The target buyers will be focused around the proposed plan of development areas, which are close to the existing networks and markets with gas infrastructure. During the plan of development preparation, NGY will hold discussions with the target buyers and negotiate gas sale agreements, Globaltec said.

NGY will focus its efforts on the timely execution of the plan of development preparation process and to deliver the proposal by the end of the year, it added.

EU sends charge sheet to Visa over inter-regional fees

BRUSSELS, Aug 3 —The European Commission said today it had sent a charge sheet to credit card group Visa over the fees merchants have to pay when customers from outside the bloc make purchases in the European Union. In 2014, the Commission…

Entrepreneurs urged to use 1Malaysia internet centre

KUALA NERANG, Aug 3 — Rural entrepreneurs in the country are urged to use the 1Malaysia Internet Centre (Pi1M) in transforming local products in tandem with the rapid development of information technology currently taking place. Malaysian…

CCM to focus on growing chemical and polymer operations after demerger

KUALA LUMPUR: The demerger of CCM Duopharma Biotech Bhd from Chemical Company of Malaysia Bhd (CCM) and the degearing exercise at CCM’s level will enable CCM to focus on growing its chemical products and polymer coatings businesses, which contributed 48% of revenue in 2016.

Apart from the announcement made on Wednesday, CCM group managing director Leonard Ariff Abdul Shatar said yesterday CCM will embark on a divestment exercise of non-core assets that provide neither rental nor dividend, to raise an estimated RM225 million which will go towards paring its debts. The disposal of 70.9 acres of land in Shah Alam for RM190 million which was announced, is part of this exercise.

A proposed private placement which is expected to raise RM67.6 million, along with the RM225 million, is expected to reduce its debts to RM100 million from RM440 million currently. This will reduce its gearing from 0.7 times to 0.6 times. The debts comprise RM400 million of long-term loans and RM40 million of working capital credit.

Currently, CCM spends RM21 million a year in interest to service the debt. Post degearing, the amount will be reduced to RM5.25 million a year.

The demerger and degearing exercises are part of a strategic review which began in 2015. Recall that the group merged all pharmaceutical businesses under the CCM Duopharma umbrella in 2015 and exited the fertiliser business in 2016. CCM Duopharma will continue to focus on the pharmaceuticals business.

“Our efforts since 2015 are to fix the core of the company and in 2016 it was to fix the P&L (profit and loss). This exercise is to fix our balance sheet,” said Leonard Ariff.

The demerger exercise, which will be done via a proposed distribution in specie, will result in two separate listed entities as CCM Duopharma ceases to be a subsidiary of CCM.

Leonard Ariff said the demerger, together with the degearing, will lighten the balance sheet for CCM and give shareholders direct ownership in both entities, enabling them to participate directly in their growth.

“It is expected that the restructuring will enable us to utilise our resources more effectively and efficiently, and promote strong growth for our chemicals and polymers businesses,” he told reporters at a briefing.

After the distribution and capital reduction, CCM shareholders are expected to receive dividend in the form of CCM Duopharma shares worth some RM400 million by year-end, enabling them to directly participate in the equity of CCM Duopharma at no cost. Details of the dividend in specie have not been released.

Post-demerger, Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) will remain a major shareholder in both CCM and CCM Duopharma.

“Because of the dividend in specie and the fact that they have 70% in CCM, their combined share based on what they already have plus the dividend in specie, they will then have just over 50% of CCMD (CCM Duopharma).

“The free float now is about 26%. CCMD will be a subsidiary of PNB and PNB’s shareholding will be about 51%. That is assuming they don’t participate in the private placement. If they do, it will be higher. The free float will go up to at least 40%,” Leonard Ariff said.

He said it will be business as usual for both entities post-demerger and the management structure will largely be retained. However, at group level, there will be an exercise to reduce costs.

“Now we are only supporting chemicals and polymers. So the group side would consequently have to shrink as well. We are still working on the details but obviously some of the services will have to be redeployed to pharmaceuticals,” he said.

Asked whether he will remain CEO of CCM Duopharma, Leonard Ariff said no decision has been made yet.

Two EGMs will be convened, in October and December, for the proposed private placement and proposed demerger respectively.

Xingquan woes mount as last independent director quits

PETALING JAYA: The woes plaguing loss-making China-based Xingquan International Sports Holdings Ltd don’t look to be abating anytime soon, with departure of its last independent and non-executive director.

At a time when the company is desperately sourcing for independent directors and a CFO, Xingquan told Bursa Malaysia yesterday that independent director Zhou Liyi was leaving the board.

Zhou cited his inability to perform his duties and responsibilities following the expiry of the CFO’s employment contract in early May 2017, the resignation of the audit committee’s chairman at the end of May 2017, the recent resignation of other independent directors and the lack of suitable candidates to fill the vacancies since.

Last week, Xingquan announced the resignation of independent and non-executive Datuk Ramly Zahari, citing time commitment issues.

Trading in Xingquan shares has been suspended since June 8 after it failed to submit the third quarterly report for the financial period ended March 31, 2017 to Bursa Malaysia. It had said this was due to the expiry of the CFO’s contract and the sudden departure of independent director Tan Eng Choon, who was also the chairman of the audit committee.

Tune Protect group announces two key appointments

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 — Tune Protect Group has appointed Khor Kee Eng as its Chief Actuary and Khoo Ai Lin as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tune Insurance Malaysia Bhd (Tune Protect Malaysia), a 83.3 per cent-owned subsidiary of the…

Sunway REIT manager to buy Sunway Clio Property for RM340m

PETALING JAYA: Sunway REIT Management Sdn Bhd, the manager of Sunway Real Estate Investment Trust, plans to buy Sunway Clio Property from Sunway Bhd’s unit Sunway Forum Hotel Sdn Bhd for RM340 million.

Sunway Clio Property comprises a 19-storey, four-star hotel with 401 rooms and facilities known as Sunway Clio Hotel, three storeys (including one storey at the lower ground floor) of retail lots known as Sunway Pyramid West and a six-storey podium and four-storey basement car park.
The purchase will be financed with its existing debt programme.

Sunway Clio Property is an income-generating asset that currently has occupancy rates of 71.6% for the hotel and 88.2% for the retail space.

Meanwhile, in a separate filing, Sunway Bhd said RM275 million of the disposal proceeds will be used to repay borrowings, which will reduce its finance expenses by RM10.9 million a year. Another RM64.6 million will be for working capital.

Fox is said in talks with Ion amid tensions with Sinclair

NEW YORK, Aug 3 — 21st Century Fox Inc. is in talks to operate local television stations across the US with Ion Media Networks Inc., potentially paving the way for Fox to dump Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. as an affiliate partner, a person…

Sunway Reit to buy Sunway Clio property for RM340m

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 — Sunway Real Estate Investment Trust (Sunway Reit), through its trustee, RHB Trustees Bhd, has entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Sunway Forum Hotel Sdn Bhd to acquire Sunway Clio property for RM340…