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Stone Master explores collaboration with construction firm

PETALING JAYA: Stone Master Corp Bhd (SMCB) is exploring a collaboration with Sing Fong Niap Engineering Sdn Bhd (SFNE), as part of plans to regularise its financial condition and revive its factory and/or business operations.

The two parties entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday, under which both companies are considering to collaborate and potentially, to inject where necessary building related materials supply, construction related contracts/works and/or projects into the venture.

The collaboration is subject to further financial and legal due diligence to be carried out by both parties and terms and conditions to be mutually agreed upon. SFNE is in the principal business of engaging in all kinds and types of construction works.

According to a Bursa Malaysia filing, SCMB and SFNE believe that the synergy would be commercially beneficial to both parties. The MoU is intended to set out the principal terms by which the companies will combine forces to carry on their businesses.

The two parties have a period of two months to negotiate the terms and conditions of the definitive agreement.


SMCB enters into a MOU with Sing Foong Niap Engineering

PETALING JAYA: Stone Master Corp Bhd (SMCB) announced that they have entered into an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Sing Fong Niap Engineering Sdn Bhd (SFNE) to revitalise their financial conditions and revive its factory and operations.

The MOU spells out that both company propose to collaborate and inject the necessary building related materials supply, construction related contracts/works and/or projects into the venture. Subject to further financial and legal due diligence to be carried out by both parties and terms and conditions to be mutually agreed upon.

According to their bursa filing, SCMB and SFNE believes that the synergy would be commercially beneficial to both of parties. Their intent for the MOU is to set out the principal terms by with the companies will combine forces to carry one their business.

The two parties have a period of two months to negotiate in good faith the terms and condition of the definitive agreement from the date of the MOU.


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BAT awaiting approval for ‘alternative’ products launch

PETALING JAYA: British American Tobacco Bhd (BAT) is currently awaiting approval for its tobacco heating product (THP) and its flagship product Glo from the tobacco control sector and department director-general of health under the Health Ministry.

“We have submitted our application to the relevant authorities in December last year, the price of our THP will be subject to the regulatory bodies,” said BAT managing director Erik Stoek at a media briefing today.

He expects some consumers to adopt the risk reduced tobacco product as the vapour produced product has less harmful chemical compared with conventional cigarettes.

““The industry estimates that the global THP market to grow to £5 billion (RM27.1 billion) in the next four to five years,” he said.

In Malaysia, BAT’s competitor Phillip Morris Malaysia Bhd was the first big tobacco firm to introduce such product.

In addition, BAT is also conducting a pilot project to produce unprocessed tobacco product in East Malaysia.

“At the moment, we are two weeks in with our project, Dunhill HTL cigarillos in East Malaysia, which retails for RM9 for a pack of twenty.”

Stoek said affordability is one of the key factors in combating illicit cigarettes in Malaysia. A research by Nielsen ICS estimates that the volume share of illicit cigarette stands at 60%.

He estimates that the profit of illicit cigarette to be RM1.2 billion compared with RM700 million recorded by the legal trade. The prevalence of illicit cigarette was one of the decision for the company to close its Virgina Park factory in Petaling Jaya in 2016.

Currently, BAT is in its first year of full import business model, with 98% of their products manufactured in Indonesia. It has managed to reduce the lead times by ten days for finished goods and prepaid excise duties, from 26 days to 16 days and 21 days to 11 days, respectively.

However, the company retains a factory in Johor with an annual production capacity of 100 million sticks.

“The factory is in operation since December last year and it is a means to retain our manufacturing license. Should the situation with illicit cigarettes improve, we might expand our manufacturing capacity in Malaysia,” said Stoek.

“We welcome the government’s commitment in tackling this problem, especially with the increase of penalty related to illicit cigarette. The fine of RM100,000 and six months jail term show that the government is serious in their enforcement,” he added.

Last year, the authorities raided 325 outlets involving a total of 100 million cigarettes.


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