Issue 43

Malaysia’s Securemetric seeks to raise $4m from ACE Market IPO

ACE Market-bound Securemetric Bhd is looking to raise RM17 million ($4.1 million) from its initial public offering on November 13, it said in a statement on Tuesday. 

Most of the capital raised will be used for the development of new digital security solutions, working capital purposes and business expansion. 

The remaining RM4.44 million ($1.07 million) will be used for repayment of borrowings and defrayment of IPO expenses. At an IPO price of RM0.25 per share, Securemetric will list with a market capitalisation of RM60.9 million ($14.63 million). 

The company said the IPO exercise entails the issuance of up to 68 million new shares, comprising a public issue of 17 million shares, while 48 million shares will be placed out to identified investors. The remaining three million will be set aside for eligible employees of the company. 

“With increasing adoption of technology by businesses and governments, enhanced digital security solutions is of utmost importance to avoid data leakages and economic losses arising from cyberattacks. 

We are well-positioned to benefit from growing emphasis by corporates and governments on having robust digital security solutions to safeguard data, information, and assets,” said Securemetric CEO Edward Law. 

Based in Kuala Lumpur, Securemetric and its subsidiaries offer digital security products and solutions in markets across Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore. 

For the financial year ended on December 31, 2017, more than 85 per cent of Securemetric’s revenue was derived from its overseas operations. 

  From – Deal Street Asia

Morgan Stanley raises $440m for debut Thailand PE fund

Morgan Stanley on Monday announced securing $440-million for its North Haven Thai Private Equity and related funds, exceeding an initial target of $300 million. 

North Haven Thai PE is managed by Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia (MSPEA), the Asia-focused PE investment platform of Morgan Stanley Investment Management. The fund was launched in partnership with Bangkok Bank and will make investments in companies with significant operations in Thailand. 

It is also the inaugural Thai fund to be managed by Morgan Stanley. Bangkok Bank is said to be one of Southeast Asia’s top regional banks and Thailand’s market leader in corporate and small-and-medium enterprises (SME) banking, with 17 million customer accounts and total assets of $102 billion as of March 31, 2018. 

“The success of our fundraising effort demonstrates that our clients recognise the significant potential we see in Thailand for this value-oriented investing strategy,” said Morgan Stanley Investment Management private credit and equity head David N. Miller. 

The fund counts International Finance Corporation (IFC) among its investors. IFC had proposed an equity investment of $20-25 million in North Haven Thai PE last June. DEG Invest, an emerging market-focused German government agency has also pumped in $25 million into the fund, according to its disclosure. 

The North Haven Thai PE fund will target business that are beneficiaries of strong urbanisation and per capita income growth trends and government initiatives, per the Morgan Stanley statement. 

“Thailand has one of the most active M&A and financing markets in ASEAN, its per capita GDP has doubled in the past ten years and the supply of private equity capital remains relatively low. 

When seen through that macro lens and when combined with Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia’s investing experience and ability to source opportunities on a proprietary basis, we believe Thailand is a highly attractive market,” said Chin Chou, head of private equity investing in the Asia Pacific for Morgan Stanley Investment Management. 

MSPEA’s previous four private equity funds include the $330-million Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia I in 1999, the $525-million Asia Fund II in 2005, the $1.5-billion Asia Fund III in 2007 and the current $1.7 billion Asia Fund IV. 

As of June 30, 2018, Morgan Stanley Investment Management has $474 billion in assets under management. Among other Thailand-focused funds, Bangkok-based PE firm Lakeshore Capital is currently investing out of its first $60-million fund.

From – Deal Street Asia

Dyson Picks Singapore to Build Electric Cars Rivaling Tesla

Dyson Ltd., famous for making vacuum cleaners, picked Singapore to manufacture its first electric car, pushing ahead with plans to challenge Tesla Inc. in the hottest sector of the automotive market.

The closely held British manufacturer, also known for hand dryers and air purifiers, said Tuesday it will complete the factory by 2020 and stuck to a goal of rolling out its first model by 2021 as part of a 2 billion-pound ($2.6 billion) effort to expand into automobiles.

The choice of Singapore -- which doesn’t have a single car-manufacturing plant and is one of the costliest places in the world to buy an automobile -- comes as Tesla zeroes in on establishing a factory in China. The decision is a victory for the city state, home to the planet’s second-largest container port and a manufacturing hub for high-technology products such as Rolls Royce Holdings Plc aircraft engines.

Dyson is among new contenders entering the race to make electric vehicles, which are gaining market share from gasoline-powered autos. Besides Tesla, Dyson will compete with global giants such as Daimler AG, Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co. that are all charging ahead with EV plans.

Singapore, with fewer than 6 million people, is a minor market itself but has technology talent and strong intellectual-property protections, regularly topping regional IP rankings. Dyson already has a manufacturing hub in Singapore that focuses on digital motors, with the company employing about 1,100 people in the region.

The country also has a free trade agreement with China, the world’s largest market for electric cars. While Tesla last week took a step toward building an auto plant in Shanghai, Dyson’s founder, James Dyson, has complained about IP theft in China.

China will remain the top electric-vehicle market at least until 2040, when more than half of all new car sales and a third of the planet’s fleet -- equal to 559 million automobiles -- will be electric, according to a forecast by Bloomberg NEF. James Dyson said the company’s “center of gravity” has tilted toward Asia, which last year generated almost three quarters of revenue growth.

“The decision of where to make our car is complex, based on supply chains, access to markets,” Dyson Chief Executive Officer Jim Rowan said in a note to staff. "The availability of the expertise” will help the company achieve its ambitions.

Dyson had considered the U.K. and various Asian locations for its car facility. It has extensive manufacturing experience in Malaysia, and previously made products in the U.K., which may lose some of its allure for global companies with the planned exit from the European Union.
Dyson will build the plant itself rather than subcontract the work out to suppliers. Tesla has been going through what founder Elon Musk has called “production hell,” followed by “delivery logistics hell,” as the company has been ramping up volumes at its sole car factory in Fremont, California.

Exactly what type of cars Dyson will be producing remains to be revealed. Construction is still ongoing at its test facility at Hullavington, England, which includes a now 400-strong automotive team, a handling track and an off-road route.

Dyson’s plan is set to bring back auto manufacturing to Singapore after a decades-long absence. Ford Motor Co. established Southeast Asia’s first car-assembly plant in the country in 1941, and closed it down in 1980.

Now, Singapore is one of the world’s most expensive car markets because of the city state’s policies aimed at curbing congestion. A standard Toyota Corolla Altis, one of the most popular models in the country, costs more than $80,000 when including the car-ownership permit and excise and registration duties. That’s about four times the price of an equivalent model in the U.S.

From – Bloomberg


Malaysia’s RHB Bank bags approval to buy Vietnam Securities Corp

Malaysia’s RHB Bank Bhd has secured the approval of the State Securities Commission of Vietnam (Vietnam SSC) for its proposed acquisition of the remaining 51 per cent stake in Vietnam Securities Corporation (VNSEC) for VND121.63 million ($5.37 million) in cash. 

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia on Monday, RHB said the approval was granted on October 18 via a letter from Vietnam SSC dated October 17. The proposed acquisition must be completed in 90 days from the date of approval. 

This February, RHB Bank had entered into a conditional share purchase agreement with Chu Thi Phuong Dung, Truong Lan Anh and Viet Quoc Insurance Broker Joint Stock Company for the acquisition of the 51 per cent equity interest in VNSEC it doesn’t already own. 

Post-acquisition, VSEC will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of RHB Investment Bank, which currently holds a 49 per cent stake in VSEC. VSEC was established in December 2006 and commenced operations in March 2007. 

RHB Bank was granted a license to open its representative office in Ho Chi Minh City in 2008. The banking group is the fourth largest fully-integrated financial services group in Malaysia, with seven core businesses: group retail banking, group business and transaction banking, group wholesale banking, RHB Singapore, group Shariah business, group international business and group insurance. 

RHB Bank’s regional presence span across ten markets including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.

From –Deal Street Asia

China's Xi opens world's longest sea bridge linking Hong Kong, Macau

China opened the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge and tunnel on Tuesday, linking the financial center of Hong Kong, the gambling hub of Macau and western reaches of the Pearl River Delta at the heart of southern China’s economic boom.

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge is made up of nearly 35-km (22-mile) of bridge and road sections, and a 6.7 km (4-mile) tunnel between artificial islands to allow shipping to pass unhindered.

President Xi Jinping presided over the inauguration early on Tuesday but said little except to declare the bridge officially open to a burst of fireworks projected onto a screen behind him.

Vice premier Han Zheng said the bridge would help drive China’s strategic blueprint for a “Greater Bay Area” around the Pearl River Delta modeled on other global economic dynamos like San Francisco Bay and Tokyo Bay.

“Standing at this new historical starting point, we firmly believe that the opening of the bridge will further develop the special advantage of Hong Kong and Macau,” Han said in a speech at the ceremony.

The bridge, which snakes across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong’s Lantau island and passes Macau’s glitzy casinos, will begin operations on Wednesday when some bus services begin.

Arrangements are being finalised for trucks and private vehicles will need special permits to use it.

According to Chinese media, authorities will use facial recognition systems to detect yawning drivers on the bridge, as a safety measure. If a driver yawns three times, an alarm will go off, media has reported.

Hong Kong authorities have defended the bridge’s HK$120 billion ($15.31 billion) price tag, saying it would consolidate Hong Kong’s position as a regional aviation and logistics hub.

Some critics, however, see the bridge as a white elephant that is part of a multi-pronged push by China to exert greater control over Hong Kong, which returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997 amid promises to preserve the city’s high degree of autonomy and individual freedoms denied in mainland China.

The bridge was first proposed in the late 1980s, but it was opposed at the time by Hong Kong’s British colonial government, which was wary of development that might draw the city closer to China.

From – Reuters

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