WBL Corporation Limited announced that the Group's Thai precision manufacturing subsidiary, Wearnes Precision (Thailand) Limited (WPT), in which the Group has a 98% effective interest, has today filed a petition for business reorganisation with the Central Bankruptcy Court in Thailand.
Due to market conditions and operational issues, WPT has been incurring losses for the past three years. Despite continuous efforts to resolve these issues and to turn the business around, WPT was not able to reverse its poor performance and continued to incur losses. WPT has explored various strategic alternatives, including looking for new investors, with however, no success yet. Over the past months, WPT has downsized its workforce, and operations at the plant have ceased as of end September 2007.
As previously announced by Wearnes in its third quarter 2007 results, the Group had already taken an impairment charge of S$26.6 million for assets relating to WPT's operations. The discontinuation of this Thai unit resulted in retrenchment costs of approximately S$2.1 million which will have a further impact on the Group's results for the financial year ended 30 September 2007.
Listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited, WBL Corporation Limited ("Wearnes") is a dynamic international group with key activities in Technology Manufacturing, Technology Solutions, Automotive Distribution and Investments. Today, Wearnes is ranked among the top 75 companies by market capitalisation on the Singapore stock exchange and has revenues of $2 billion with operations in over 10 countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, China, the United Kingdom and the United States.
United Fiber System Limited announced that Poh Lian Construction Pte Ltd (PLC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Unifiber has been awarded a building contract for The Trillium condominium development (The Project) by Lippo Land Corporation.
The Project, located at Kim Seng Road, consists of 3 towers of 29-storey residential flats (total 231 units) with basement carparks, swimming pool and communal facilities. The total contract sum of the Project is S$155.8 million. The Project will commence in October 2007 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of July 2010.
With this new project, the total order book will increase significantly from the current S$247.0 million to S$402.8 million, a record high for PLC. The Project is expected to contribute positively to the Group but is not expected to have a material impact on the current year's results.
The Company was incorporated in December 1995 in the Republic of Singapore as Poh Lian Holdings Pte Ltd, a private limited investment holding company working in the construction industry. In conjunction with the initial public offerings, the Company was subsequently converted into a public limited company in May 1997 and changed its name to Poh Lian Holdings Limited. The Company has been listed on the main board of the Singapore Stock Exchange since then. In April 2002, the shareholders of the Company approved a plan to venture into the forestry and pulp businesses. The restructuring exercise involved the acquisition of the entire issued and paidup share capital of Anrof Singapore Ltd group of companies with a forest concession right and extensive forest plantations in Indonesia and with a licence to build and operate a bleached hardwood kraft pulp mill in Indonesia with an annual production capacity of 600,000 tonnes of pulp. The Company name was changed to United Fiber System Limited ("UFS") to reflect the new core businesses of forestry and pulp production.
LottVision Limited announced that it is accelerating growth plans to ramp up its strategic focus on developing its lottery-related business in China and beyond. Presently, awaiting shareholder approval for the formation of a joint-venture (JV) company, PAL Development Limited (PAL) at a Special General Meeting (SGM) scheduled in
Singapore on 18 October 2007, the Group has made significant strides in stepping up the expansion of its lottery-related business. Towards its focus on becoming a "technology enabler" of choice to the lottery market, the Group has signed a technical services Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with PAL, to provide value-added services to the latter's approximately 500 lottery retail outlets in ten provinces of the China sports lottery market and five lottery retail outlets in three provinces of the China welfare lottery market. Geared towards enhancing PAL's lottery operations in China, LottVision intends to leverage on its strength in developing IT-related solutions and services and provide a complete range of lottery-related solutions encompassing hardware, software, applications and services. Closely associated with enhancing PAL's turnover from its sales of lottery tickets, LottVision seeks to improve the lottery payment procedure by providing more flexible and convenient payment solutions such as deploying smart card technology in a stored-value card and payment gateway solutions that seamlessly interface with financial institutions and telecom service providers.
LottVision also plans to provide value-added services to PAL's lottery retail outlets such as
multi-media displays of real-time sports events, historical lottery information or statistics, broadcasts of lottery-related information, advertising platforms, a total surveillance security solution and centralised monitoring.
In addition, LottVision intends to further increase the sales turnover of lottery tickets in China using Mobile SMS, Mobile Gaming and Mobile Point-Of-Sale technology. Under the first, LottVision proposes to ride on the rapidly increasing base of mobile phone users in China to develop a lottery-related solution that allows mobile phone users to remotely purchase lottery tickets via SMS. Under the second, LottVision will develop new mobile lottery games using JAVA technology to make them more exciting, interactive and popular. This includes both high frequency and instant lottery games. Finally, LottVision is developing a lottery-related solution that uses Mobile Point-Of-Sale technology to sell lottery tickets to lottery players in remote areas without access to traditional lottery retail outlets. In this way, PAL will be able to expand its network of lottery-retail outlets through Mobile Point-Of-Sale machines placed at distribution channels like restaurants, KTVs, parks and suburbs.
Concurrently, LottVision also concluded a strategic share and purchase ("S&P") agreement to inject 20% of its proposed equity interest in PAL to Hong Kong-listed Wafer Systems Limited for a total consideration of S$ 2.1 million through shares and S$ 21.2 million through a convertible bond. These payment terms enhance the value of LottVision's original investment of S$ 15.6 million in its lottery-related business in January 2006 to S$ 46.4 million representing a rise of 197% within 21 months. Following the completion of the S&P agreement, Wafer Systems Limited will hold 60% equity interest in WS Technology and will also become the majority shareholder of PAL with 80% equity interest in PAL. The remaining equity interest in PAL will continue to be held directly by LottVision. Hence LottVision's equity interest in PAL will be reduced to 20%. Backed by LottVision's leading technology solutions and WS Technology's proprietary lottery vending terminal design and manufacturing business, the reorganised PAL will be in a stronger position to accelerate its expansion in the lottery market in China and beyond. In August 2007, LottVision announced an update on its business direction to express its intention to be a "technology enabler" of choice in license restricted markets providing revenue generating IT-related solutions and services for the lottery market in China and beyond as well as for the Group's other continuing businesses in China.
Sunshine Holdings Limited announced the Company's recent success in obtaining the land use conversion for part of the land that it owns at the Western District of Xinxiang. The land at the Western District of Xinxiang occupies a total site area of approximately 499,746 square metres (sqm) and has a total planned gross floor area (GFA) of approximately 800,736 sqm. According to the General Plan of Xinxiang country, New Country Seat (2003 - 2020), the aforesaid land is planned for a composite development although its land use right states the land usage as industrial use.
The Group has successfully obtained, in accordance to its development schedule,
the relevant approval for change of land use issued by the municipal government and the new land use right certificate for approximately 234,000 sqm, or 47% of the total site area. Following the conversion, the value of the land has appreciated substantially. The land has been fully paid for and the conversion of land use will not result in additional costs for the Company. The portion of land with land use conversion has a planned GFA of approximately 300,000 sqm and development is expected to take place in two phases. Phase I and Phase II of the project have approximately 100,000 sqm and 200,000 sqm in GFA respectively, with approximately 90% of the space to be allocated for residential development and the rest for commercial purposes. Some of the residential units in this project will cater specifically to members of the civil service. Based on currently available information, the estimated average selling prices are about RMB 1,300 - 1,500 per sqm for residential space and about RMB 3,000 - 3,300 per sqm for commercial space. The average selling prices can be expected to rise as the development of the project progresses.
The construction of Phase I is scheduled to begin immediately after the successful land use conversion and is targeted to be completed in FY2008. Revenue contributions from Phase I can be expected in FY2008 and FY2009. Construction of Phase II is expected to be started no later than early 2008 and is scheduled to be fully completed in FY2010.
The Group is currently evaluating the available options for the remaining portion of the land so as to maximise the benefits to the Group. The development of the land will be carefully planned based on the Group's growth strategy as well as local property market conditions.
Based in the Henan Province of the PRC, we are an award-winning cluster estate developer as well as developer of mass residential and commercial properties in selected key cities which are at the budding stage of development with strong urbanization and resettlement potential. Sunshine Holdings' focused approach since our establishment in 1999 has enabled us to accumulate market expertise and build a strong reputation in our operating cities, enabling the brand name of our property development - Huilong - to be associated with quality developments. Over a span of six years, we have built an impressive track record in developing an aggregate gross floor area of more than 380,000 sqm (equivalent to the size of more than 75 football fields) - comprising six property developments as of 30 June 2005.
Various awards and accolades attest to our Group's performance. In 2004, we clinched the coveted "PRC Leading Property Developer" award by the Construction Cultural Centre of the PRC Building Department. We have also been awarded Certificate of Credit Rating Grade AAA by the Xinxiang City Capital Credit Rating Committee for five consecutive years since 2001.
Olam International, a leading global integrated supply chain manager of agricultural products and food ingredients, today announced that it will invest about US$45 million in a green field integrated soluble (instant) coffee manufacturing facility in Vietnam, that produces and supplies bulk spray-dried coffee powder, freeze-dried coffee granules and coffee extracts to the unbranded and private coffee label segment.
Olam today is the world's largest supplier of Robusta green coffee with approximately 15
per cent global market share due to its strong presence in key producing countries including Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Cote d'Ivoire, Cameroon and Uganda where Olam has extensive origination and primary processing facilities. Over the last three years, Olam has also successfully migrated into the Arabica coffee business in Brazil, which is the largest producing country of Arabicas, and has recently expanded into Colombia, Honduras and Peru which are significant Arabica coffee producers. In addition, Olam has also been sourcing and supplying soluble coffee to independent soluble coffee companies which do not have soluble coffee production facilities of their own. More importantly, while Olam has a 15 per cent market share in Robustas, it has approximately 25 per cent market share in lower grade Robusta coffee which is the largest component of the raw material mix in manufacturing spray-dried soluble coffee.
This gives Olam an inherent competitive advantage.
The integrated soluble coffee manufacturing project will be implemented in two phases.
Phase 1 envisages setting up production capacity of 3,700 metric tonnes per annum which will be commissioned in the first quarter of FY2009. Phase 2 expansion will commence in Year 3 which will see annual production capacity expand to 6,500 metric tonnes. The project is expected to be earnings accretive from FY2011. EBITDA margins and NPAT in steady state (FY2013 onwards) are expected to be around 29 per cent and US$5-6 million respectively. The project IRR is estimated at 21 per cent with an NPV of US$42 million.
Olam is a leading global integrated supply chain manager of agricultural products and food ingredients, sourcing 14 products with a direct presence in 56 countries and supplying them to over 4,000 customers in more than 60 destination markets. With direct sourcing and processing in most major producing countries for its various products and a staff strength of more than 7,500 worldwide, Olam has built a global leadership position in many of its businesses, including cocoa, coffee, cashew, sesame, rice, cotton and teak wood. Headquartered in Singapore and listed on the SGX-ST on February 11, 2005, Olam currently ranks among the top 40 largest listed companies in Singapore in terms of market capitalisation and is now a component stock in the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI). It was recently named as one of Singapore's top 10 globalised companies by International Enterprise ("IE") Singapore in its third annual Singapore International 100 Ranking 2007.
Sihuan Pharmaceutical Holdings Group Ltd has acquired the product rights for Levophencynonate Hydrochloride tablet (LH tablet) from China's renowned Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS) for RMB 8million. Under the agreement with AMMS, Sihuan will own full product rights to the LH tablet and will collaborate with AMMS to develop the drug. LH tablet is a new drug under development for use in the treatment of vertigo symptoms caused by cardiocerebral vascular and other diseases. When successfully developed, the drug is expected to have better curative effects, lower toxicity and lesser side effects than existing anti-vertigo drugs in the market.
AMMS has applied to the PRC State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) to classify the drug in Category I (drugs that have not been previously marketed in China or overseas) and for approval to conduct clinical trials. Application has also been made to the Patent Office of the PRC to patent the compound structure and manufacturing process of the LH tablet for a period of 20 years in China.
As a group, Sihuan is recognized for its strong focus on quality, technical excellence and R&D. The Group's Hainan Sihuan was recently one of only 4 companies in Hainan Province to receive the prestigious Ministry of Science and
Technology accredited "2007 National New and High Tech Enterprise" award this year in recognition of its advanced technology and research capabilities in the PRC pharmaceutical industry. Sihuan presently has a pipeline of over 50 pharmaceutical products at various stages of development, thanks to the Group's sustained R&D effort with renowned research institutes such as the AMMS.
Sihuan Pharmaceutical Holdings Group Ltd (Sihuan) is a leading manufacturer of
cardiocerebral vascular (CV) drugs in the PRC. The Group's 33 drugs (15 are CV drugs),
are distributed via an effective and extensive network of 1,360 distributors covering 30 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. Headquartered in Haikou, the Group currently manufactures 20 drugs using its own production facilities at 100%-owned Beijing Sihuan Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd and engages 3rd party contract manufacturers to produce 10 other drugs. Sihuan is also the exclusive distributor of 3 drugs on behalf of an unrelated pharmaceutical company.
HG Metal Manufacturing Limited announced that the Company has been awarded the Global Trader Programme status (GTP) by International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore).
This prestigious status is awarded by the Singapore Government to selected major trading companies. The award is to recognize the contribution of these companies to the Singapore economy and their global impact on their respective industries. The status carries with it a concessionary tax rate on qualified offshore income, and is awarded on basis of the company's trade turnover, business spending and commitment to the Singapore economy.
Singapore is the 16th largest trading nation in the world. The external trade is more than three times its GDP. Last year, external trade grew by 13.2%, reaching a total of S$810 billion. Physical offshore trade was also significant, amounting to more than US$350 billion in 2006. From 25 major international trading companies in 1989, Singapore currently has over 200 companies under the GTP based in Singapore. These include Hong Kong based Li & Fung, one of the world's leading trading and distribution firms, and Petrobras, Brazil's national oil company. The pool of GTP companies has created significant spin-offs for Singapore, generating over S$5 billion in local total business spending and contributing over S$6 billion in VA in 2006. Singapore companies also have a huge presence in the trading sector. About one-quarter of the GTP companies are from Singapore.
HG Metal is a premier stockist and manufacturer of steel products. With more than 30 years in the steel business, HG Metal offers more than 2,000 different types of steel products of various dimensions for a wide variety of industrial and engineering applications. With their "one-stop supermarket" strategy, HG Metal is able to satisfy the needs of their customers with one visit to their extensive stockyard and manufacturing facility.
HG Metal has also differentiated itself from its peers in its strategic move to custom manufacture steel products. HG Metal currently manufactures customized flat steel bars in a wide variety of engineering processes and mild steel lip channels commonly used as roofing support in commercial and industrial buildings. The Directors believe that HG Metal is the only steel stockist in Singapore with such manufacturing capability. This gives HG Metal a distinct competitive advantage against their competitors, as sthey can fulfill their customers' requirements more quickly and completely, especially for specifications that are not readily available in the market.
Memory Devices Limited announced that the Company has incorporated five wholly-owned subsidiaries (ROC Subsidiaries) in Taiwan, Republic of China (ROC) on 9 October 2007, details are as follows: -
I. MEMORY DEVICES INVESTMENT A LIMITED(储 仁 投 资 有 限 公 司 )
Issued and paid-up capital: NT$79,262,754 Principal activity: Investment holding company
II. MEMORY DEVICES INVESTMENT B LIMITED(储 信 投 资 有 限 公 司 )
Issued and paid-up capital : NT$79,262,754
Principal activity: Investment holding company
III. MEMORY DEVICES INVESTMENT C LIMITED(储 义 投 资 有 限 公 司 )
Issued and paid-up capital : NT$79,262,754
Principal activity: Investment holding company
IV. MEMORY DEVICES INVESTMENT D LIMITED(储 和 投 资 有 限 公 司 )
Issued and paid-up capital: NT$79,262,754
Principal activity: Investment holding company
V. MEMORY DEVICES INVESTMENT E LIMITED(储 平 投 资 有 限 公 司 )
Issued and paid-up capital: NT$60,886,724
Principal activity: Investment holding company
The establishment of the ROC Subsidiaries was funded by bank borrowings and internal resources.
The ROC Subsidiaries are intended to be intermediate holding companies for the Company's investments in its existing wholly-owned British Virgin Islands-incorporated subsidiary, Memory Device Limited (MDBVI) and its existing 49%-owned British Virgin Islands-incorporated associate company, Mozart Magic Investments Limited (MMI).
In connection therewith, the Company will transfer to :
(a) each of Memory Devices Investment A Limited, Memory Devices Investment B Limited, Memory Devices Investment C Limited and Memory Devices Investment D Limited, 23.2% of the Company's interests in MDBVI; and
(b) to Memory Devices Investment E Limited, the Company's balance 7.2% interests in BVICo and the Company's 49% interests in MMI.
Memory Devices Limited is in the business of research and development, manufacture and sale of solid state memory storage products for use in personal computers, notebooks, servers and networks as well as a wide array of consumer electronics, industrial and communications applications.
GKE International Limited (the company) announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary company GKE Express Logistics Pte Ltd (GKEEL) has increased its issued and paid up capital from S$500,000 to S$1,100,000.
The company has subscribed for an additional 600,000 ordinary shares satisfied by cash of S$20,000 and the balance by way of capitalizing the loan granted by the company to GKEEL of S$580,000.
Following the subscription, the company now holds 1,100,000 ordinary shares in the capital of GKEEL.
The Group is principally engaged in the provision of the integrated comprehensive logistics services, which are broadly classified into:
- General logistics
- Metal logistics
- Container/ Conventional Transportation & Project Management
- Sea & Air Freight Services
The metal logistics services are operated by GKE Metal Logistics Pte Ltd, a warehouse operator approved by London Metal Exchange ("LME") to take custody of non-ferrous metals traded on the LME. The general logistics services are provided by GKE Warehousing & Logistics Pte Ltd. It includes a wide range of logistics services for customers in consumer products and retail industries that is supported by our multi-modal transportation in both Sea, Air and Land transport through GKE Freight Pte Ltd
Adding on to expand the Group's core business activities, GKE Express Logistics Pte Ltd provides Out-of-Gauge ("OOG") or non-standard/ abnormal-sized cargo transportation.
With a formation to provide a TOTAL SERVICE anywhere in the world, GKE is your leading choice of integrated logistics service provider in the region.
LottVision Limited has entered into a non-binding framework agreement to acquire a 45% stake in Beijing JiuGe Online Technology Limited (Beijing JiuGe), which is a licensed mobile betting operator in the People's Republic of China (the PRC). This strategic development is intended to spur LottVision's move as a "technology enabler" of choice into China's fast-growing mobile betting market.
The framework agreement sets out the broad in-principle terms and is subject to satisfactory due diligence by the Group and a formal agreement between the two parties to be entered into later.
The proposed acquisition which is valued at RMB20.0 million or approximately S$3.9 million is complementary to the Group's focus on seeking best-of-breed technologies to develop its lottery-related business in China and beyond. The proposed transaction follows closely on the technical services Memorandum of Understanding between LottVision and its proposed associate company, PAL, signed recently and adds a new dimension to the Group's lottery related technology offerings.
Incorporated in the PRC, Beijing JiuGe is a leading licensed mobile betting operator qualified by both of the authorised and state backed lottery administrators, namely the China Sports Lottery Administration and the China Welfare Lottery Administration. Its proprietary and comprehensive mobile betting solution has been successfully running since 2005 and is presently being deployed in 9 provinces for the China Sports Lottery including Henan, Fujian and Hubei. Beijing JiuGe has also begun implementing its mobile betting solution in one province for the China Welfare Lottery namely Henan and it sees ample opportunities for further growth there. Based on its successful expansion to date, Beijing JiuGe intends to continue extending this offering to other provinces for both the China Sports and China Welfare Lotteries in the future.
Beijing JiuGe's mobile betting solution comprises a complete range of hardware, software, applications and services that are geared towards enhancing purchase of lottery tickets, placing of lottery bets and lottery payment procedures using mobile phone technology. Riding on the increasing base of mobile phone users in China, Beijing JiuGe has strong alliances with business partners like telecom companies, local banks and the China lottery administrators. Beijing JiuGe's mobile betting systems architecture is consistent with industry guidelines for both the mobile and lottery environments and its application can be easily integrated with the systems of mobile operators and the lottery administrators in China. Due to its mature and manageable operation procedures and its established positioning in the China lottery market, Beijing JiuGe has large potential for future growth therein. Significantly, Beijing JiuGe is one of the few companies in China that has successfully obtained all the necessary licenses from the China Ministry of Information Industry allowing it to provide value-added services over telecom infrastructure. This is despite China being extremely restricted in the issuance of such licenses to only qualified organisations which have duly demonstrated their capability to provide such services over telecom infrastructure. Moving forward, these licenses will be vital for Beijing JiuGe and LottVision to jointly continue developing lottery-related solutions to meet the future demands of the lottery market in China. In the opinion of industry analysts, the mobile betting worldwide market itself will be worth nearly US$12bn by 2010. These analysts attribute this surge to the increasing deployment of multiple mobile payment technologies as well as the liberalisation of legislation in key markets. In fact, mobile lotteries are expected to be the most popular service by the end of the forecast period with analysts predicting more than 380 million users worldwide by then.
Established in 1986, LottVision Limited ("LottVision") is headquartered in Hong Kong and has been listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited ("SGX-ST") Main Board since December 2002.
LottVision intends to be a "technology enabler" of choice in license-restricted markets providing revenue generating IT-related solutions and services for various industries. It is principally engaged in the development of lottery-related solutions and services in Asia. It is also engaged in the provision of outsourced security and IT-related services, such as video surveillance and online gaming services, and the manufacture of special purpose devices, such as smart identity ("ID") card devices.
Raffles Education Corporation
Limited (Raffles Education Corp) announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Oriental University City Development Co., Ltd (Oriental University City) in Langfang City, Hebei Province, the PRC. A strategic development that will entrench the Group's leadership position in the PRC and set it as the largest education provider in the Asia Pacific. Oriental University City is a company involved in the development, operation and management of educational assets in the PRC.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Group will acquire Oriental University City for a purchase consideration of approximately RMB 2 billion. The acquisition is payable in 4 equal instalments over a 4 year period and will be funded either through external financing arrangements, internal resources, or a combination of both, and the revenues generated by the Group's operations in Oriental University City. As part of the terms of the acquisition, Oriental University City will provide a pre-tax profit guarantee of RMB 100 million in 2008 and RMB 140 million in 2009. In addition, it will also transfer the ownership of Langfang Vocational Technical Institute and Langfang Health School to the Group. It will also apply to the PRC Ministry of Education to obtain the necessary approvals for the establishment of a private university, a private college and two Sino-foreign cooperative schools.
The campus covers a land area of 3.31million square metres with a built up space of 1.04 million square metres, and houses 19 colleges with a student population of over 54,000 students. Following the acquisition, the Group will own and manage 2 of the existing colleges on campus, the Langfang Vocational Technical Institute and the Langfang Health School, which together have a student enrolment of over 23,000 students. It will also provide direct support for the other 17 collaborative colleges, which have an enrolment of 31,000 students. Over the next few years, the Group intends to build more colleges within the campus to provide more education opportunities and attain higher economies of scale.
Oriental University City is located in the Langfang Development Zone in Langfang City, Hebei Province. The Langfang Development Zone is located between the cities of Beijing and Tianjin, about 50 km and 60 km away from Beijing and Tianjin respectively. It is easily accessible from the 2 cities via the Jing-Jin-Tang Expressway and is a short distance away from the Jing-Shan Railway. It will also be linked by the Beijing-Tianjin intercity high speed train, reducing travel time between
Beijing and Langfang to about 15 minutes.
Establishing its first college in Singapore in 1990, RafflesEducationCorp is the leading education group in Asia. Listed on SGX Main Board, the Group currently operates a total of 28 colleges in Asia Pacific under 4 education brand names, namely Raffles University with 16 Raffles Design Institutes and 2 Raffles Schools of Psychology, and 8 Hartford Institutes owned by Hartford Corporation Limited, China Education Limited (previously Easycall International Limited) with Tianjin University of Commerce Boustead College, and Shanghai Zhongfa College. The 18 Raffles University Colleges in Design and Psychology are in Singapore, Mumbai (India), Bangkok (Thailand), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Sydney (Australia), Ho Chi Minh City & Hanoi (Vietnam) and Auckland (New Zealand), and eight in China located in Shanghai, Beijing, Huizhou, Changchun, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Changzhou, and Wuhan. Hartford Education Corporation Limited has 8 colleges in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Ulaan Bataar (Mongolia), Auckland, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Beijing. The Group is also involved in basic educational institutions which comprise kindergartens, primary, junior high schools, as well as senior high schools and institutions, through its associate company, Oriental Century Limited. The Group has a majority stake in China Education Limited, which offers degree programmes in Business Administration, Computer Science & Information Technology and Literature & Arts that lead to nationally or internationally-recognised tertiary qualifications through its Tianjin University of Commerce Boustead College. Shanghai Zhongfa College offers vocational and technical education, and serves as a feeder school for the Group's tertiary education system in China.
Technics Oil & Gas Limited (Technics) announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Technics Offshore Engineering Pte Ltd, has sealed its first contract with BW Pioneer Ltd (c/o BW Offshore as an agent). Oslo Stock Exchange-listed BW Offshore builds owns and operates oil and gas floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels. It is one of the world's leading FPSO contractors, backed by 25 years' experience and a track record of 12 successfully delivered FPSO projects and assets operating in Mexico, Nigeria, Mauritania, Malaysia and Russia.
The main contract amounts to S$17.0 million and encompasses the overall design of the process engineering, detailed engineering and calculations, procurement of major equipment and fabrication /construction (i.e., EPCC Basis), for two modules of gas compression systems and one unit of gas treatment and processing module. Each gas compression system will feature a premier 4,400 horsepower compressor by US manufacturer Ariel Inc., for which Technics has been qualified as an authorized packager since 2005, 4,400 horsepower electric motor, cooler, associated gas scrubbing and processing vessels, including PLC controls and instrumentation. When fully constructed, each gas compression module will tower over 15 metres in height and weigh over 300 tonnes.
Technics also offered a separate option worth S$1.5 million for the provision of supplementary works and supplies of parts, which BW Offshore is likely to take up later. This contract is in conjunction with BW Offshore confirming its first contract with Petrobras America Inc. for the conversion, installation and operation of an FPSO at Chinook Cascade oil fields for up to 8 years, including option periods of up to 3 years.
The two gas compression modules to be built by Technics will be installed onboard this landmark FPSO by BW Offshore for gas vapour recovery and gas export applications, with the gas treatment and processing module for gas dehydration application. The FPSO will be installed in Gulf of Mexico - its water depth of 2,600 metres is probably the deepest water depth an FPSO ever has been installed on to-date. Storage capacity is about 600,000 barrels of oil, with process capacity of 80,000 barrels of oil per day and gas export facilities of 16 million standard cubic feet per day. Earlier in June 2007, BW Offshore delivered the first FPSO ever in the Gulf of Mexico to Mexican state-owned oil company, Pemex.
The delivery for all three modules is February 2009 on a FOB basis to BW Offshore's crane barge arriving at Technics' waterfront yard in Singapore. Accordingly, the Group expects to start progressive recognition of revenue accruing to the above contract based on percentage of completion basis. This will not amount to any material impact on the earnings per share and net tangible assets of the Company for FY2008 as the substantial portion will be recognised in FY2009.
Listed on the Singapore Exchange SESDAQ since April 2003, Technics Oil & Gas is a one-stop specialist provider of integrated services to the offshore and onshore segments of the global oil and gas industry, including major oil & gas companies, builders of oil rigs, semi-submersibles and floating production storage and offloading ("FPSO") ships. Comprehensive range of services encompasses in house design and engineering, procurement, project management and fabrication/construction and commissioning (i.e. EPCC basis); of process equipment and topside modules including gas compression systems for FPSOs, and fixed platforms; as well as mobilisation / demobilization services. Other products include subsea structures e.g., sub-sea high-pressure manifolds, protective structures and piping skids; metering skids and ship automation equipment; spare parts support, etc..
Global Voice Group (SGX: H23.SI), owner and operator of one of Europe's highest capacity fiber networks and provider of mission critical communications infrastructure and services, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Computacenter in Germany. Under the terms of the agreement, Global Voice will deploy metro|nex, an integrated solution of dedicated private fiber networks in Frankfurt (Germany) and Tier 1 IP transit, to support the secure transport and replication of the data of, for example, some of Europe's most prestigious financial institutions.
Computacenter Germany, Europe's leading multi-vendor IT infrastructure services provider offering managed services and outsourcing solutions, required a robust infrastructure on which to deploy a range of services. Global Voice enabled Computacenter with metro|nex, a unique metro networking solution deployed over a secure private fiber network, redundantly linking Computacenter's co-location datacenter facilities within Frankfurt's city center, offering highest levels of availability and scalability. The solution also enables Computacenter with carrier grade IP Transit, for fastest and most reliable Internet access, optimized to support bandwidth-intensive applications and secure external data transfers with minimum hop, minimum latency and minimum packet loss.
Metro|nex is Global Voice's solution for dedicated, customer-managed private fiber networks door2door throughout Europe's largest cities, meeting the most stringent requirements for security and resilience and delivering the highest levels of capacity. Metro¦nex is most often selected by carriers, service providers and large corporations all requiring their own dedicated infrastructure within the metro.
Global Voice Group owns and operates one of Europe's highest capacity fiber networks and provides mission critical communication infrastructure and services to large corporates, carriers, and service providers. Constructed at a cost in excess of €1.3 billion, Global Voice's all-fiber optic network uniquely combines ‘long-haul' inter-city network linking Europe's largest economies, with high density ‘last-mile' metropolitan fiber networks in 15 of Europe's leading cities. Global Voice was recently awarded the prestigious title of "Best New Entrant" by leading telecommunications publication, Capacity Magazine. The award was granted to Global Voice following their acquisition of a pan-European fiber network thus extending their unique proposition of delivering private fiber networks - an offering the judges felt is of immense value to large Corporates and carriers alike. Global Voice Group, traded as euNetworks in Europe, is headquartered in Frankfurt, publicly listed on the Singapore stock exchange (SGX: H23.SI). Global Voice is a member of euro-one, a unique collaboration of fiber optic network providers to deliver infrastructure and next generation networking solutions, connecting Eastern, Central, Western Europe and North America.
Armstrong Industrial Corporation Limited, a leading foam and rubber components
manufacturer specializing in Noise & Vibration reduction for the automotive and electronics industries, is pleased to announce that it has won the runner-up award of Most Transparent Company Award in the Non-Electronics
Manufacturing category at the Securities Investors Association of Singapore (SIAS) Investors Choice Award 2007.This marks the 3rd consecutive year since 2005 that Armstrong has achieved this award from SIAS. In 2005, Armstrong emerged as the Winner under the Mainboard small caps category. In 2006, Armstrong also won the runner up award of Most Transparent Company Award in the Non-Electronics Manufacturing category.
Over the past years, Armstrong has stepped up their investor relations (IR) activities. Besides the half-yearly analyst and media briefings, this year Armstrong has voluntary initiated quarterly results announcements to heighten its corporate governance practices and to increase its earnings transparency to investors. In addition, Armstrong also holds regular results briefing and plant visits for the analysts and fund mangers. Armstrong's dedicated up-to-date online IR portal is a convenient source for the latest information on corporate information, financial information, daily stock quotes, historical charts and news releases.
Armstrong has also been active in participating in road shows to broaden Armstrong's shareholder base. In April, Armstrong participated in Financial PR Corporate Day 2007. An event showcasing 16 regional-listed companies to institutional and high net worth investors. In August this year, the Armstrong management has also met up a group of institutional funds in London and Frankfurt.
Going forward, Armstrong is committed to maintaining a high level of transparency to our shareholders and the investing community.
Established in 1974 and listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Singapore in 1995, Armstrong Industrial Corporation specializes in manufacturing rubber and foam parts that reduce Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) in automobiles. It provides innovative solutions for insulation, dampening, cushioning, sealing and related applications. Armstrong produces high performance precision die-cut, rubber molding, stamping, vacuum and heat press molding components for the booming automotive industry. Major customers are world-class multi-national corporations.
Armstrong's operations are housed in its Singapore corporate HQ and 18 factories across Singapore, Thailand, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Asian Micro Holdings Ltd is pleased to announce that its second of its three Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) conversion centers in Thailand was officially opened in Korat on 1st October 2007 and is fully operational.
This conversion centre is to cater to the increasing need for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Dual Diesel Fuel (DDF) conversion of heavy duty diesel vehicles in the North Eastern regions in Thailand. The centre will also do Bi-fuel conversion for cars and taxis. This brings to date, a total of 3 NGV conversion centers aggressively set up by SO NGV Thailand since July 2007.
The Korat site has a total land area of 1.7 acres or 73,525 square feet and a build up area of at least 40,000 square feet. It is leased for 3 years with a 3-year renewable option.
Asian Micro Holdings Limited (listed in the SGX-SESDAQ in September 1999) provides recycling and precision cleaning of packaging trays and media/disk cassettes used in the hard disk drive and semiconductor industries in Singapore, China and Thailand. Asian Micro recently invested in Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) conversion business and is now focused towards setting up a chain of network of NGV conversion centres. Though started only in July 2007, the Company has now set up a total of 6 NGV conversion centres in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. The Company also imports/exports NGV conversion kits, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) engines, CNG cylinders, and CNG vehicles to expedite its growth and revenue. Currently specializing and promoting Dual Diesel Fuel (DDF) conversion for heavy duty diesel trucks, buses and prime movers to run on 50% diesel and 50% natural gas, it has become the alternate key business of the Company. Asian Micro intends to grow itself into an energy company entering the oil and gas sector by specializing in alternative and renewable fuels, mainly in Natural Gas.
Singapore Computer Systems Limited (SCS), a leading information and communications technology service provider in Asia, has attained the ISO/IEC 27001:2005 Information Security Management System (ISMS) certification, reinforcing its vision to be the Trusted Provider of Trusted Services. The certification was attained for two of SCS' key service offerings - business process outsourcing and business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR).
ISMS is a management system which facilitates making informed decisions about the information security of a business, assisting the organisation to carry out day-to-day management of information security issues in a systematic way. Previously known as the British Standard BS7799:2, the ISO/IEC 27001 standard specifies the requirements in implementing an effective ISMS in an organisation so as to manage information security effectively and systematically. The ISMS framework allows the organisation to have increased assurance of its security practices, integrates risk assessment and management, and provides an effective means of communicating security requirements throughout the organisation.
SCS was awarded the ISMS certification following a security audit conducted by TÜV SÜD PSB Certification Pte Ltd.
Singapore Computer Systems (SCS) is a leading information and communications technology service provider in Asia. As the provider of Trusted Services to its customers, SCS empowers organisations with competent IT professionals, using proven processes and living technologies in a timely and cost-effective manner. Our services are designed to maximise organisational performance and are compliant with regulatory and security guidelines. They range from traditional IT infrastructure, business solutions, systems integration and managed services to state-of-the-art Application-Aware Infrastructure, Infrastructure-Aware Applications, converged communications, business rules management systems, business process outsourcing, and business continuity management services. These are flexible solutions that are adaptable to our customers' needs as their businesses grow or change. Trusted Services have been successfully deployed in multiple sectors including government; banking, insurance and financial services; manufacturing, logistics and distribution; healthcare; property; and telecommunications. Incorporated in 1980 and listed on the Main Board of The Singapore Exchange in 1991, SCS has operations in Asia spanning Singapore, Brunei, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.
HG Metal Manufacturing Limited announced that the Group would be participating in CIMB GK Securities Investors Conference on 10/11 October 2007. Titled "CIMB Infrastructure Sector Corporate Day", the event is held at Fullerton Hotel and involves institutional fund managers and sophisticated investors.
Over the past months, HG Metal has announced a number of expansion plans in line with its projected expansion of business. The Group has already started construction of new warehouses at its existing warehouse at 30 Jalan Buroh while construction at its new 300,000 square feet Jurong Port Road facility is likely to start in Sep or Oct 2007. These new warehouse facilities are expected to add warehousing capacity of another 50,000 tonnes when fully completed. The Group is contemplating the acquisition of more facilities to cater to the growing demand for its products and services.
The Group has achieved a solid track record in enhancing shareholders' values since its listing in 2002. From FY2003 to FY2006, HG Metal has achieved a Compounded Annual Growth Rate ("CAGR") of 32.4% for its Shareholders' Equity from S$24.9 million in FY2003 to S$58 million in FY2006.
HG Metal Manufacturing Limited was founded in 1971 as a small retailer of steel products. Today, we are one of the leading steel stockists in Singapore, and arguably the first local steel stockist to provide state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities. At our extensive "one-stop supermarket" stockyard and manufacturing facility, we carry more than 2,000 types of steel products, of various dimensions and for a wide range of industrial and engineering applications. In addition, with over 30 years of experience in steel business, we are confident of meeting, and exceeding, our customers' requirements and expectations in steel products. We source our steel products from cost efficient producers in Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, and other Eastern European countries. While our primary market is Singapore, we also export to Malaysia, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries. In 2000, the Group diversified into the manufacturing of steel products through our wholly owned subsidiary, Oriental Metals. We started with the manufacturing of customised flat steel bars and mild steel lip channels, commonly used as roofing support. In mid 2003, we expanded our manufacturing capacity to include pipes and hollow sections through the installation of a new pipe line. With enlarged manufacturing capabilities, HG Metal possesses a distinct advantage over our competitors - that of being more capable of and more completely equipped for fulfilling the customers' stringent requirements for steel products. HG Metal Manufacturing Limited was listed on SESDAQ on 21 March 2002.
Oculus Limited recently announced the proposed acquisition of 100% of Goldline Capital Limited (Goldline) Goldline is a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and is an investment holding company. Goldline's 70% owned subsidiary is PT Balikpapan Oil Terminal (the Goldline Subsidiary). The principal activities of the Goldline Subsidiary are to build/operate oil storage facilities in Indonesia.
The Goldline Subsidiary intends to build its first oil storage facility at Balikpapan with a storage capacity of 100,000 metric tonnes. The storage facility will be sited on 5 hectares of land and will have its own pier to accommodate tankers of up to 40,000 dwt. The pier would be able to berth one tanker and 3 bunker barges at the same time. Construction of the storage terminal is expected to commence before the end of the year and the construction of the initial 60,000 MT of storage facility and the pier is expected to be completed by the middle of 2008.
The Goldline Subsidiary has on 25 September 2007 entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with PT Total Oil Indonesia (TOI) to lease storage tanks with a capacity of 40,000 MT for an initial period of 5 years. The parties are now working on a definitive agreement to formalize the terms of the MOU. TOI is part of the oil major group, Total. TOI is very active in the oil exploration sector in Kalimantan and is one of the top investor in the region of Kalimantan. The signing of the MOU with TOI represents an excellent start for the Goldline Subsidiary and augurs well for the future operations of the company. The company forsees that other oil majors and MNCs would be interested to lease the storage facilities from them as there is presently no such facility in Kalimantan. The proposed acquisition of Goldline will cost Oculus S$4 million and completion is subject to the fulfillment of, inter alia, all of the following
(a) evidence that the Goldline Subsidiary has procured all necessary governmental authority for the Business; and
(b) evidence that the Goldline Subsidiary has procured contracts for rent/utilization of at least 40,000 MT of storage facilities with oil companies acceptable to Oculus. The construction of the storage facility with an initial 60,000 MT capacity of storage tanks and the pier is expected to cost about US$6 million and this will be funded mainly through borrowings through the Goldline Subsidiary.
Oculus Limited is focused on the innovation, manufacture and marketing of color lenses principally under the FreshKon® brand. The group also offers disposable daily and monthly clear lenses primarily under FreshKon® brand, and specialty products such as soft toric lenses and gas permeable lenses made with Boston material. With direct presence in Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Malaysia, its products are sold in more than 45 countries globally.
AusGroup Limited announced that it has embarked on work related to subsea oil & gas production components in Australia. Under the terms of the contract from Cameron, AusGroup will supply two 6 slot subsea manifolds. The work will start immediately and is scheduled for delivery by September 2008.
The two 6-slot manifolds will be used in the Van Gogh project for Apache Energy and its JV partners to develop an oilfield off the coast of Western Australia. The subsea manifolds will be connected to a Floating Production Storage and Offtake vessel (FPSO) and be used to facilitate oil production via the production wellheads on the seabed.
This is the second time AusGroup is embarking on such work in its Australian operations and is a clear example of how the Group is benefiting from its acquisition of Cactus. Cactus specialises in work related to subsea components and currently serves Cameron, a global leader in such equipment.
AusGroup Limited is a mainboard-listed energy & resources specialist. It is primarily based in
Australia, where it is a dominant player in the supply of total engineering solutions, which includes fabrication, mechanical installations and maintenance. Being involved in the building, maintaining and upgrading of infrastructure, plant and equipment used in the extraction and processing of energy & resources, AusGroup is well positioned to benefit from the increasing capital investments in these industries. Through its acquisition of Cactus Engineering, AusGroup has established a presence in Singapore, which will be used as a platform to more regional growth.
Noble Group remains among Singapore's most successful public companies as it reaffirms its position on the newly revamped Straits Times Index (STI).
The new STI, developed by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), Singapore Exchange (SGX) and London-based FTSE Group, is expected to go live in January and consist of 30 stocks streamlined from the current 48. Only 26 of 48 stocks in the original STI appear in the revised index of blue-chip stocks listed on the SGX. Noble has been a constituent on of the benchmark index since 2005.
The top 30 stocks were selected by market capitalization as of 31 August and represents approximately 56 percent of total market cap of the mainboard worth 413 billion Singapore dollars. The current STI of 48 stocks represents about 62 percent of total market cap worth 435 billion dollars.
Trial values of the redesigned STI are published daily at www.ftse.com/st to enable investors to familiarize themselves with the workings of the index, ahead of official launch in January 2008. Eligibility for entry to the new indices requires a stock to have a free float - the percentage of shares available for investor trading - of more than 15 percent and it must also meet certain liquidity levels.
Noble Group (SGX: NOBL) is a market leader in managing the global supply chain of agricultural, industrial and energy products. Noble manages a diversified portfolio of raw materials from over 80 offices in more than 40 countries. An experienced team of 10,000 people serve approximately 4,000 customers.
With Q2 07 revenues reaching US10.1 billion, Noble continues its transition to owning and managing more fixed assets, sourcing from low cost producers such as Brazil, Indonesia or Australia and supplying to high growth demand markets including China, India and the Middle East. Noble recently appeared on the Forbes Global 2000, received The Asset's coveted Best 60 In Corporate Governance Award and was selected to the Forbes Fab 50 and S & P Global Challengers. Noble also received the Corporate Governance Recognition Award: Classes Of 2006 and 2007 - by Corporate Governance Asia, was named as one of FinanceAsia's Best Companies and earned a spot on the new benchmark Straits Times Index (STI). In 2005, Noble established ratings from Moody's and Standard & Poor's and joined the MSCI Singapore Index. During this period, the Group was recognized as one of BusinessWeek's Stars of Asia and a Best Employer by Hewitt Associates. Noble also ranked #1 on The Forbes Global 2000 - Total Return during the five-year period 2001 - 2005.
Sihuan Pharmaceutical Holdings Group Ltd has agreed to buy Shenzhen Sihuan
Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd (Shenzhen Sihuan) for RMB60 million. Shenzhen Sihuan is engaged in the marketing and distribution of own-brand and third party pharmaceutical products in the PRC, through a network of 29 sales offices and
1,200 distributors. The company owns the product rights to 12 pharmaceutical products, which comprise cardiocerebral vascular drugs, antibiotics, and other pharmaceutical products. Its more promising products include Ningxinao (or Cerebroprotein Hydrolysate Injection) and Quao (or Cerebroprotein Hydrolysate for Injection), both of which are cardiocerebral vascular drugs.
Under the agreement, Sihuan's wholly-owned subsidiary Hainan Sihuan Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd Hainan Sihuan) will acquire 100% of Shenzhen Sihuan from three unrelated parties, namely Dai Li Fang, Duan Xiao Bo and Zhang Guan Shun. The vendors have given Sihuan the undertaking that the net profit of Shenzhen Sihuan will not be less than RMB12 million for 2007 and RMB16 million for 2008. Based on the profit guarantee, Sihuan's acquisition cost of RMB 60million amounts to a 2007 PER of 5.0 times and 2008 PER of 3.8 times Shenzhen Sihuan has recorded a net profit of RMB 3.1million on sales of RMB
51.0million for the financial year ended 31 December 2006. For the nine months to 30
September 2007, Shenzhen Sihuan has surpassed the previous year's performance with an unaudited net profit of RMB8.5 million on sales of RMB64.6 million. The strong performance was attributed to the increasing acceptance of its products, and the successful bids in the Guangdong Online Tender for a number of its products.
Sihuan will fund the acquisition with proceeds from its initial public offering in March 2007. In line with its strategy to expand its product range, Sihuan recently spent RMB 8million to acquire the full product rights for Levophencynonate Hydrochloride tablet, which is a drug under development for use in the treatment of vertigo symptoms caused by cardiocerebral vascular and other diseases. It will be developing the drug jointly with China's renowned Academy of Military Medical Sciences. The latter has applied to the PRC State Food and Drug Administration to classify the product as a Category I drug, which applies to drugs that have not been previously marketed in China or overseas.
Sihuan is a leading manufacturer of cardiocerebral vascular (CV) drugs in the PRC. The Group's 33 drugs (15 are CV drugs), are distributed via an effective and extensive network of 1,360 distributors covering 30 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. Headquartered in Haikou, the Group currently manufactures 20 drugs using its own production facilities at 100%-owned Beijing Sihuan Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd and engages 3rd party contract manufacturers to produce 10 other drugs. Sihuan is also the exclusive distributor of 3 drugs on behalf of an unrelated pharmaceutical company.
China Fishery Group Limited announced the acquisition of its seventh fishmeal plant in Peru.
Located in Chimbote, where the Group has two other plants, the newly acquired plant is the Group's first that is capable of producing both steam-dried and flame-dried fishmeal at one facility. It has a fishmeal processing capacity of 103 tonnes per hour, of which 60% is for steam-dried fishmeal and 40% is for flame-dried fishmeal. Steam-dried fishmeal is considered a product superior to standard flame-dried fishmeal, and hence commands a higher market price. Producing steam-dried fishmeal is also more energy-efficient, thus yielding important environmental and cost benefits.
This acquisition brings China Fishery's total Peruvian fishmeal processing capacity to 549 tonnes per hour. Of this, 220 tonnes are dedicated to steam-dried fishmeal processing, from 160 tonnes previously. Apart from fishmeal processing facilities, the plant also integrates facilities such as a cannery, an ice plant, and 44,500 square metres of oceanfront land for possible future expansion. The purchase consideration of US$15.3 million (before value-added tax) will be funded through proceeds from the Group's issuance of 9.25% senior notes due 2013 completed in end-2006.
Under Peru's current fishing system, increasing plant density along the coast is critical to improving operating efficiencies, as it allows China Fishery to shorten unloading times of raw material. Thus, the Group will stand to reduce turnaround time in its Peruvian Anchovy fishing operations, and also increase its sourcing capabilities from third parties. This, in turn, will help optimise utilisation of the Group's fishmeal processing capacities. China Fishery set up its Peruvian operations in the second half of 2006, so as to tap increasing global demand for both fish and fishmeal. It has since established itself as one of the leading fishmeal producers in Peru.
Listed on the Singapore Exchange Mainboard on 25 January 2006, China Fishery Group Limited ("China Fishery") is a global, integrated industrial fishing company with governmental rights to fish in some of the world's most important fishing grounds. Employing state-of-the-art supertrawlers, China Fishery harvests, onboard processes and delivers high quality catch to consumers the world over. In 2006, China Fishery also established fishmeal processing operations in Peru, where it has fishmeal processing plants and purse seine fishing vessels deployed strategically along Peru's coastal areas. Riding on an ever-growing global demand for fish, China Fishery is committed to continually securing access to this limited and valuable marine resource, and fulfilling consumer needs through sustainable fishing practices. For FY2006, the Group achieved a 61.3% year-on-year rise in net profit to US$48.0 million on the back of US$156.0 million turnover.
Rickmers Trust Management Pte. Ltd. (RTM), the trustee manager of Rickmers Maritime, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to acquire five 4,250 TEU container vessels (the "Vessels") from Polaris Ship management Company Limited pursuant to the right of first offer granted to RTM under the Omnibus Agreement dated 24 April 2007 entered into by (1) RTM (acting on behalf of Rickmers Maritime), (2) Rickmers Holding GmbH Cie. KG, (3) Pacific Holdings International GmbH & Cie. KG and (4) Mr. Bertram R. C. Rickmers. The new acquisitions are in addition to the recently announced acquisitions of four 13,100 TEU and four 4,250 TEU container vessels, which together will increase Rickmers Maritime's current total contracted fleet capacity by 220% from 40,910 TEU to 131,560 TEU. The five new Vessels are scheduled to be delivered between June 2008 and February 2009 from Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co., Ltd. (DSIC) shipbuilding facilities in Dalian, the People's Republic of China (PRC). DSIC is one of the leading state owned shipbuilders in the PRC with whom the Rickmers Group have concluded a number of newbuilding contracts in the past.
The purchase price of each vessel is US$72.0 million, to be paid upon delivery of the respective Vessels to Rickmers Maritime. Each vessel will commence service upon delivery with ten-year, fixed-rate time charters to MOL,
Tokyo (the Charterer). MOL is one of the largest vessel operators in the world, operating in excess of 800 vessels, including about 120 containerships. The Vessels have been chartered out at accretive hire rates, which for competitive reasons cannot be disclosed at this time. The Vessels will be of identical design to Rickmers Maritime's current fleet of 4,250 TEU
vessels, and this is expected to result in economies of scale and operating efficiencies.
Rickmers Maritime expects to have 15 of these sister vessels in operations at the end of 2009.
Each of the Vessels will be 260 metres in length, 32.25 metres in breadth and will have a cargo carrying capacity of 50,000 metric tonnes. The MAN B&W 49,720 horsepower fuel-efficient engines will allow each vessel to sail at a service speed of 24.5 knots.
The Vessels are among the nine 4,250 TEU vessels that were disclosed in Rickmers Maritime's Initial Public Offering Prospectus1 as falling under the right of first offer granted to RTM through Rickmers Group. These Vessels will provide a boost to Rickmers Maritime's already fast growing fleet capacity. The purchase of the Vessels is subject to the entry into of Memorandum of Agreements. The transaction will be classified as an interested person transaction under the Listing Manual of the SGX-ST and is subject to the approval of Unitholders at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to be convened. A circular in relation to the acquisition containing more detailed financial information, a notice of the EGM and the recommendation of the audit committee will be dispatched to Unitholders in due course.
Rickmers Maritime is a Singapore business trust formed with the objective of owning and operating containerships under long-term, fixed rate charters to container liner shipping companies. Rickmers Maritime's asset portfolio, both owned and contracted, consists of 23 containerships including the five 4,250 TEU vessels announced today. The fleet comprises seven vessels in operation, ranging between 3,450 TEU and 5,060 TEU, and a further 15 contracted vessels, ranging between 3,450 TEU and 13,100 TEU. Rickmers has been granted a purchase option on one additional vessel, exercisable in January 2008.
All vessels will have long-term, fixed rate time charters in place, which will allow Rickmers
Maritime to maintain stable operating cash flows. Managed by Rickmers Trust Management Pte Ltd, Rickmers Maritime aims to provide its Unitholders with regular and growing quarterly cash distributions. Rickmers Maritime also intends to grow its fleet through accretive acquisitions in order to increase distributable cash flow per Unit.
Swiber Holdings Limited (Swiber), is dynamically stepping up its fleet expansion and extending its capabilities to subsea and deep water activities. The integrated offshore Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation and Commission (EPCIC) contractor with a complementary business in the supply of marine support vessels, today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Kreuz Engineering Limited (Kreuz Engineering) 1, has acquired two Subsea Support vessels and two deepwater Anchor Handling Tug/Supply (AHTS) vessels from Thaumas Marine Ltd for US$108.0 million. The US$108.0 million does not include the equipment that Swiber will retrofit and/or purchase for the vessels. The new acquisition marks the gradual progression of Swiber's strategic move to capture the subsea and deep water activities.
The two 78-metre DP2 Subsea Support vessels and the two deepwater 70-metre 10,000 BHP (brake horsepower) AHTS vessels are expected to be delivered between last quarter of 2009 and first quarter of 2010. The Subsea Support vessels will be outfitted with the state-of-the-art SAT system incorporating an advanced self propelled hyperbaric rescue chamber and 100-ton heave compensated crane. The vessels will also have a Class 2 Dynamic positioning system, accommodations for 146 personnel and a working moonpool. These Subsea Support vessels will complement Swiber's existing EPCIC activities to perform subsea hardware installation and inspection, repair, and maintenance. The two deepwater 70-metre 10,000 BHP AHTS vessels will be the first deepwater vessels Swiber has acquired. When delivered, the deepwater vessels will be available to international oil and gas companies for their deep-sea operations.
The acquisition of the vessels will be financed through the proceeds raised from the successful completion of the Group's recent SGD bond offering of S$108.5m2 and sale and leaseback arrangement.
Established in 1996, Swiber is today an integrated offshore EPCIC contractor with in-house marine support capabilities (Offshore Marine Support). Through the integration of these two core businesses, we are able to provide customers with one-stop solutions for all the relevant stages of their offshore oil and gas projects. We offer a full suite of offshore EPCIC services which can be customised in accordance with the requirements of our customers in the offshore oil and gas industry. Of significance, while we are focused mainly on the development stage, our services are applicable to all stages in offshore oil and gas project, spanning exploration, development, production and post-production. Swiber also operates a fleet of marine support vessels which are chartered to customers throughout various stages in their offshore oil and gas exploration, development and production and postproduction projects. Currently, we own and/or operate a fleet of 20 vessels, comprising nine tug boats, nine barges, one crane barge (Dalihao) and one jack up barge. We serve a geographically diversified base of customers, having handled offshore EPCIC projects for
and provided offshore marine support services to customers based in Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, India, China, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. With our subsidiaries strategically located in Singapore, Malaysia, India and Indonesia, Swiber is well-positioned to tap into the further growth of the offshore oil and gas exploration, development and production activities in the Asia Pacific and Middle Eastern regions.
"..Our answer to the challenges of business environment is to adopt the Lean and Green Manufacturing process. The full conversion of our assembly lines into the Cell production format was completed in late 2006. The combination of productivity enhancement practices and business process innovation programs has generated efficiencies which help mitigate the increase in costs. In the area of environmental protection, China has implemented its Green laws for electronic products in March 2007. SMT has started the Green Manufacturing practice since 2002 and we are well placed to meet these challenges."
Prof Chan Kei Biu, Chairman and Senior Managing Director Surface Mount Technology (Holdings) Ltd