Thursday, August 14, 2014

Singapore game firm bought for up to $125 mil

Candy Crush maker King Digital Entertainment has bought Singapore-based games developer Nonstop Games for up to US$100 million ($125 million).

New York stock exchange-listed King will pay US$6 million in cash, with another US$26 million to be paid to keep Nonstop Games employees with the company.

The remaining due will be based on criteria linked to revenues from new game releases.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ying Li swings back to black with $2.8 mil profit in 2Q

Ying Li International Real Estate has reversed its losses with a net profit of 13.98 million yuan ($2.84 million) for the second quarter ended June 30 (2Q2014). This compares to a loss of 17.19 million yuan in 2Q2013.

Revenue surged 175.5% to 246.33 million yuan from a year ago, boosted by revenue recognition from the handover of residential units in the Ying Li International Plaza project.

Earnings per share came in at 0.006 yuan per share compared to a loss of 0.008 yuan per share in 2Q2013.


Palm oil firm First Resources 2Q net profit slides 31%

First Resources said its second-quarter net profit fell 31% on the year to $26.1 million, blaming lower selling prices of crude palm oil and its refined products.

The company, which operates oil palm plantations and refineries in Indonesia, said sales volumes of crude palm oil rose 6.7% during the quarter ended June 30, but the value of sales fell 17.9%.

The benchmark Malaysia palm oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange traded largely above the levels a year earlier during the second quarter, but First Resources said its prior year performance was boosted by higher average selling prices due to forward sales.

The decrease in net profit was further weighed by losses on foreign exchange, which more than doubled on a year earlier.

The company declared an interim dividend of 1.25 cents, unchanged on a year earlier.

Cosco Corp (S) unit wins $588 mil contract to build 4 subsea supply vessel

Cosco (Dalian) Shipyard Co., a subsidiary of Cosco Corp Singapore’s 51% owned subsidiary, Cosco Shipyard Group Co., has won contracts valued over US$470 million ($588 million) to  build four subsea supply vessels from Maersk Supply Service AS which is part of the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group. The vessels are scheduled for delivery in 4Q2016 and 1H2017 respectively. Maersk Supply Service also has the option to build two more subsea supply vessels.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dairy Farm to pay $1.16 bil for Yonghui superstores stake: Update

Dairy Farm International Holdings, an operator of supermarkets and retail stores, is paying 5.69 billion yuan ($1.16 billion) to buy 20% of Yonghui Superstores Co. as it seeks to tap China’s growing consumer market.

“Dairy Farm has for some time been looking for opportunities to participate in the large and high growth Chinese market,” Graham Allan, chief executive officer of Dairy Farm, said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange yesterday. “This strategic partnership with Yonghui provides an attractive way to do that.”

Dairy Farm, which runs more than 5,800 supermarkets and health and beauty stores as well as other retail outlets across Asia, will also collaborate Yonghui in areas including procurement, fresh food processing and store development, according to the statement. Yonghui Superstores operated 288 hypermarkets and supermarkets across 17 provinces as of end-2013, it said.

The hypermarket industry in China is forecast to grow 39% to 862 billion yuan in 2016 from last year, according to researcher Euromonitor International. The purchase of the Yonghui stake, Dairy Farm’s largest deal ever according to data compiled by Bloomberg, comes as a slowing economy and increased competition prompts consolidation in China’s retail industry.

Regionalized Market

Shares of Yonghui Superstores rose the daily limit of 10% to 8.04 yuan in Shanghai trading as of 10:10 a.m., the highest intraday level since May 2012. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.1%.

The Singapore-listed shares of Dairy Farm rose 1% to $10.27. Dairy Farm, which operates the Wellcome supermarket chain in Hong Kong and 7-11 convenience stores in Singapore, Hong Kong and Guangdong province, is up 8% this year.

Fujian province-based Yonghui is China’s fifth-largest hypermarket company with a 4.6% market share last year. China Resources Enterprise and Sun Art Retail Group., a joint venture between Taiwan’s RT-Mart and Groupe Auchan SA, are the largest with 14% each, according to Euromonitor’s data.

“Although China’s grocery retail market is very regionalized and competitive, Yonghui has done well over the last three years,” said Zhibin Yeo, an analyst with CIMB Securities Singapore. “This buyout gives Dairy Farm exposure to a growing China grocery retail market.”

The investment also allows the Dairy Farm to diversity its sales as the company faces challenges in a competitive Southeast Asian market, Yeo said.

Tesco Plc, the largest U.K. retailer, said in October it would pay about US$558 million to merge its more than 130 stores in China into a joint venture with Hong Kong-listed China Resources Enterprise. The same month, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it would add as many as 110 stores from 2014 to 2016 in China, while shutting some outlets and remodeling dozens more as the world’s largest retailer overhauls its business in the country.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Singapore says emerging nations would welcome normal Fed

Emerging economies would benefit from more normal monetary policies globally including rate increases and an end to asset purchases sooner rather than later, given the side effects of the unconventional measures, Singapore’s central bank said.

Most of the city state’s emerging-market counterparts say more normal monetary policy is welcome, if it is done in a “calibrated, clear and orderly fashion,” Monetary Authority of Singapore Managing Director Ravi Menon told Central Banking Journal in an interview published Aug. 10.

“The next big test will be the timeline for the raising of interest rates. The sooner we see a normalization of monetary conditions globally, the better for us here in Asia and in emerging economies,” Menon said. “The spill-over effects of unconventional monetary policies are not insignificant -- volatility in capital flows, pressures in asset markets, a general increase in financial stability risks and a flattening of the yield curve that distorts investment decisions – these are not trivial consequences.”

U.S. policy makers have tapered monthly bond buying to US$25 billion ($31.2 billion) in their sixth consecutive US$10 billion ($12.5 billion) cut, staying on pace to end the purchase program in October. Federal Reserve officials led by Chair Janet Yellen are stepping up a debate over when to raise interest rates for the first time since 2006 as unemployment falls faster than expected and inflation picks up toward their 2% goal.

Potential capital outflows from Indonesia because of the Fed reducing stimulus are expected to be moderate, Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo told Bloomberg last month. Malaysia has withstood volatility from Fed policy changes and there was no disruption to credit flows, Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz said in an April interview.

Danamon Deal

When asked about a decision by Singapore’s biggest lender, DBS Group Holdings Ltd., to end a bid to buy PT Bank Danamon Indonesia last year after failing to win regulatory approval for a majority stake, Menon said reciprocal regulatory arrangements between the countries “was an issue.”

“We are fairly liberal in allowing foreign banks to operate in Singapore to carry out offshore and wholesale business, but are more selective in our admission criteria when it comes to taking retail deposits,” he said. “In a small country with many foreign banks operating as branches, we have little protection if something went wrong.”

While there is a perception that financial centers like Singapore, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Hong Kong are likely to gain as anti-money laundering and tax avoidance rules are tightened in the European Union, “that is not true,” said Menon.

“The European share of private banking assets in Singapore has been relatively stable, despite stories you sometimes hear about funds being diverted to Asia,” he said.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

United Engineers to divest assets and liabilities of MFS Technology

United Engineers (UE) is divesting the assets and liabilities of MFS Technology, its subsidiary that deals with the manufacturing of circuit boards and precision parts. The company will be divesting MFS to Navis Capital for $124 million. UE owns a 57% stake on MFS through its 67.6%-owned indirect subsidiary WBL Corporation and its wholly-owned subsidiary UES Holdings.