Jaks proposes another fundraising exercise

PETALING JAYA: Jaks Resources Bhd has proposed another round of fund raising exercise to raise maximum gross proceeds of RM54.97 million through a private placement as it did not able to raise sufficient funding for its power plant project.

Earlier the company had in December 2018 raised RM25.61 million from its rights issue of warrants.

However, as the warrants were undersubscribed by 62.48%, the proceeds raised were prioritised towards the repayment of bank borrowings, Vietnam power plant project, and to defray the relevant expenses relating to the exercise.

“The proposed private placement will enable Jaks to raise proceeds to bridge the gap for existing expenditure required for the Vietnam power plant project (such as the construction and engineering works for the jetty and administration building, and fabrication of additional equipment by contractors, as well as consultancy costs for project coordination management and advisory services) which were unable to be funded from the rights issue of warrants,“ it said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

Besides that, the proceeds will also be utilised for the repayment of bank borrowings and renewable energy projects.

The indicative issue price for the placement shares is assumed to be 80 sen and the placement shares will be placed out to third party investor(s) to be identified at a later date.

Jaks said there will be a corresponding dilution in the earnings per share of the group as a result of the increase in the number of shares issued.

The exercise is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2019.

‘No negative impact from cancellation of Vietnam JV’

PETALING JAYA: The cancellation of the joint venture (JV) to form a low cost carrier in Vietnam will not negatively affect AirAsia Group Bhd’s expansion plan, said MIDF Research.

“While the cancellation of the JV may appear to negatively impact AirAsia’s expansion plan, we do not think that this is the case. In early April 2019, AirAsia introduced Can Tho to its network of routes with a weekly frequency of four flights. In fact, this is the first ever international flight to Can Tho, indicating AirAsia’s lead as an international airline for that destination,” it said in its report today.

It noted that Can Tho is AirAsia’s sixth destination in Vietnam while new services between Bangkok and Can Tho are set to commence in May 2019.

With 8.5 million visitors visiting the Mekong Delta in 2018, it opined that this destination has the potential to attract more visitors which will positively flow to AirAsia’s load factor thus, it is not imperative for AirAsia to set up a JV carrier in Vietnam.

Today, AirAsia told Bursa Malaysia that its wholly owned subsidiary AirAsia Investment Ltd, together with Gumin Company Ltd and Hai Au Aviation Joint Stock Company had amicably agreed to terminate and release each other from all obligations under the transaction agreements in relation to the proposed JV in Vietnam.

AirAsia drops Vietnam joint venture, to seek other opportunities

PETALING JAYA: AirAsia Group Bhd has scrapped its joint venture (JV) plan to set up a low-cost carrier (LCC) n Vietnam with local partners.

The group told Bursa Malaysia that its wholly owned subsidiary AirAsia Investment Ltd, together with Gumin Company Ltd and Hai Au Aviation Joint Stock Company had amicably agreed to terminate and release each other from all obligations under the transaction agreements in relation to the proposed joint venture in Vietnam, effective April 17, 2019.

Despite the termination, AirAsia stressed that it remains interested in operating a low-cost airline in Vietnam due to its favourable geographical location, expanding aviation market and overall growth potential.

“The termination of the joint venture is not subject to the approval of the company’s shareholders and is not expected to have any financial impact on the net assets or gearing of the company.”

AirAsia first announced its intention to establish an LCC in March 2017 and a memorandum of cooperation was signed in December 2018.

AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes had said Vietnam is one of the last remaining countries with a large population within the region that AirAsia is not in.

AirAsia is already the largest foreign airline group in Vietnam by capacity, currently operating to five destinations in the country, including its latest addition of Phu Quoc.

Its shares gained 1 sen or 0.4% to close at RM2.48 today with 8.08 million shares changing hands.

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Manulife expands into Myanmar’s life insurance market

PETALING JAYA: Manulife Asia is expanding its operations in Myanmar, its 13th market in the region, following its selection as a “preferred applicant” by the country’s Ministry of Planning and Finance to set up a wholly foreign-owned life insurance operation.

“Manulife appreciates being selected as a preferred applicant. Myanmar is an important market to Manulife, and we are firmly committed to serving the insurance and financial needs of the people of Myanmar,” Manulife Asia president and CEO Anil Wadhwani (pix) said in a statement.

Manulife said the life insurance sector has played an integral role in driving social and economic progress across many Asean countries and opening up Myanmar’s life insurance market will be key to spurring the country’s ongoing development, boosting competition and penetration.

“As one of the fastest growing economies in Asean, coupled with a nascent life insurance industry, Myanmar is a key part of our overall Asia growth strategy. Developing Myanmar’s life insurance industry will not only provide much-needed financial protection to its people, but will contribute to the development of the country’s capital markets – vital for the continuing development of the overall economy,” said Wadhwani.

Manulife first started operations in Myanmar in 1903, selling its first insurance policy in November the same year. The group re-entered the market with a representative office in 2014.

Since then, Manulife has actively engaged local regulators and insurers, sharing best practice on innovative insurance products and distribution and helping to develop a sustainable insurance industry in Myanmar.

Manulife said it will contribute towards the local communities’ financial and insurance literacy through its extensive experience from operating in a large number of emerging markets in Asia.

“In particular, Manulife will explore the opportunity to sponsor local Myanmar students for higher studies in Canada, especially in the areas of actuarial science, mathematics and statistics,” it said.

Besides Myanmar, Manulife is also the first foreign life insurance company to enter Vietnam and Cambodia, with deployed capital of close to US$500 million across the two markets.

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