The Vision, Direction and Strategic Business Plans

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Executive director and managing director Datuk Alfred Cheng Yoong Choong said, despite him stepping down from his post at both companies effective May 31. “There’s no change in vision, direction or strategies of the businesses. They remain the same “It’s my duty as a senior advisor to the board to ensure that they remain on track,” Alfred, 49, told SunBiz over the telephone from London. In a filing with the Hong Kong and Singapore stock exchanges on April 5, 2013, PRGL and PRA respectively announced that Alfred will be relinquishing his positions in both companies for personal reasons and will be replaced by current non-executive director and chairman Tan Sri William Cheng Heng Jem, 70, who is also the uncle of Alfred, from May 31.

Alfred’s current portfolio, which involves the day-to-day management of the companies’ business, will be handled by the respective country CEOs. My decision is a personal one. I’ve spent most of the last 25 years travelling three weeks a month and it’s about time I devote more time to my family who is residing in London. “I’ll remain actively involved in supporting the team to carry out the business. The country CEOs are all highly qualified, experienced and capable. The business remains on track,” said Alfred. Alfred will stay on as non-executive director and senior adviser to the chairman and the board of both PRGL and PRA. In his new capacity, Alfred will continue to support the strategic direction, vision and development of the companies’ businesses in the region.

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Alfred is a substantial shareholder in PRA with a 6. 2% stake, and owns 0. 03% in PRGL. Alfred, who has been at the helm of the Parkson business for 17 years, began his career with the Parkson group in 1987, holding various positions including as COO and general manager of merchandising department at its Malaysian subsidiary, Parkson Corp Sdn Bhd. Alfred is one of the founding members of PRGL and PRA, which have grown to become one of the largest department store operators in their respective markets.

Under his stewardship, Hong Kong-listed PRGL has now expanded its network to 55 stores across 35 cities in China, while Singapore-listed PRA operates 53 stores across Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. Alfred is leaving at a time when PRGL is facing falling profits amid a competitive landscape while PRA is still experiencing growth. PRGL’s net profit dropped 24. 2% to RMB850. 8 million for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2012 due to the tough operating environment and higher operating expenses associated with new stores opening and the leases extension.

However, PRA’s net profit for the six months ended Dec 31, 2012 (H1 FY13) rose 27. % to S$26. 9 million, from S$21. 1 million a year ago, largely driven by the strong growth in same-store sales, improved sales productivity from existing stores, the opening of new stores and the inclusion of the operations in Indonesia, acquired in June 2011. For FY13, PRA targets to open seven new stores across Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia and Myanmar. In July last year, PRA announced its expansion into Sri Lanka through the acquisition of a 42. 19% stake in Colombo-listed retailer Odel PLC, as part of its vision of becoming the leading department store operator in South and Southeast Asia. Market development) Matrix Concepts to launch RM680m projects in 2013 Posted on 18 April 2013 – 03:06pm Last updated on 18 April 2013 – 06:12pm sunbiz@thesundaily. com

Print PETALING JAYA (April 18, 2013): Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd, enroute for listing on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia by the first half of this year, plans to launch new property projects worth up to RM680 million in gross development value (GDV) across 315. 2 acres of land in Negeri Sembilan and Johor this year. (Concentric integration) Of the total, RM561 million or 82% of the new launches will be in Negeri Sembilan, including a RM400. million project in the group’s flagship 5,233-acre township, Bandar Sri Sendayan. “We are looking to provide more higher-end residences here at Bandar Sri Sendayan to cater to the discerning local and foreign buyers.

This is in tandem with our vision of creating a thriving integrated township,” said its chairman Datuk Mohamad Haslah Mohamad Amin in a statement today. He said the substantial portion of new launches in Negeri Sembilan has enabled the group to take advantage of the increasing demand for residential and commercial properties in the state. The thriving property market in Negeri Sembilan is in line with the growing population here, resulting from increased economic development in the state. “More excitingly, Seremban is also benefitting from the Greater Klang Valley Conurbation, where people establish their home base in Seremban and commute to Kuala Lumpur to work. This is supported by ready accessibility between the two locations, with more infrastructure to be completed in the near future,” said Mohamad Haslah. “With this, we believe that our new launches are extremely timely to tap into this rising demand for quality properties in the state,” he added.

The Negeri Sembilan-based property developer has developed RM2 billion worth of residential and commercial properties mainly in Negeri Sembilan and Johor to date. Matrix Concepts today signed underwriting and placement agreements with Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd and Kenanga Investment Bank to be the principal adviser, managing underwriter, co-underwriter and co-placement agent; and co-underwriter and co-placement agent for the initial public offering, respectively. 6 million cash, as part of its effort to expand its network of hospitals to locations where private healthcare is in demand, enlarge its customer base and further establish itself as a key healthcare service provider in Malaysia. (horizontal integration) The healthcare service provider, via its unit Kumpulan Perubatan (Johor) Sdn Bhd, today signed a sale and purchase agreement with the shareholders of Rawang Specialist Hospital for the purpose.

The shareholders comprised Mitrajaya Holdings Bhd, Optimax Healthcare Services Sdn Bhd, Wilayah Kontact Sdn Bhd and Registec Sdn Bhd. KPJ said the acquisition will be financed from internal funds. Upon completion of the proposed acquisition, Rawang Specialist Hospital will become a wholly-owned subsidiary Kumpulan Perubatan (Johor) Sdn Bhd. Rawang Specialist Hospital is the only multi-discipline specialist hospital catering to Rawang and its surrounding areas, with more than 1 million population. It has been granted the approval from the Health Ministry to operate 159 licensed beds.

The demand for private healthcare has been good over the last few years. More people are seeking better medical care and services especially among urban dwellers,” said KPJ in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today. A sharp rise in box office revenues in China, boosted by an emerging middle class making more trips to the cinema, has encouraged foreign film producers to seek local partners to help them crack the market. Pinewood’s joint venture, Song Lin, will look to make co-productions, run film courses, develop financing for Chinese productions, and create film-themed entertainment venues.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has sought to court emerging nations as markets for British exports, said: “Pinewood is leading the way, taking advantage of China’s thriving entertainment and media sector and building on Britain and China’s growing trade relationship. ” The move could provide “significant opportunities” for film and television producers in the UK, said Pinewood chief executive Ivan Dunleavy. Pinewood, which also owns studios in Canada and Germany and is building facilities in Malaysia, has been looking overseas to help it compete in the international movie production market.

Its plans last year to build a significant studio expansion at its home in the protected ‘green belt’ area that surrounds London were rejected by the local council and it has recently submitted a fresh proposal. The Kuala Lumpur-Trichy additional flight frequencies will give immense benefit to Indian nationals working and living in Malaysia and across the region. The airline’s low fares, extensive route network and enhanced flight times makes it convenient to connect from Kuala Lumpur to Trichy and vice versa,” it said in a statement today. The additional flight frequencies, available on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, are open for booking with promotional fares (including airport taxes and fees) offered from RM129 one-way.

ECS ICT Bhd has been appointed by Samsung Malaysia Electronics (SME) Sdn Bhd (Samsung Malaysia) to distribute the latter’s entire range of information technology and mobility products to the enterprise market. Under a business-to-business (B2B) distribution agreement signed yesterday, Samsung notebook PCs, tablet PCs, smartphones and phablets such as the Galaxy Note II will be distributed by ECS’s subsidiary ECS Astar Sdn Bhd via its nationwide network of resellers and corporate dealers to the Malaysian business community.

Forward integration) ECS ICT managing director Foo Sen Chin said the deal allows the company to penetrate into “what is a growing market a market segment with vast potential”. “The use of smart devices for B2B purposes is on the increase in corporate Malaysia, thanks to advancements in wireless Internet penetration, and the availability of web-enabled notebooks, smartphones and tablet PCs. These developments have given rise to an increasing number of enterprises empowering their workforce with mobility tools to improve work efficiency, or what is now being called the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) trend. With these exciting and rapid developments, this B2B distribution agreement between ECS and Samsung will gear both partners towards achieving growth in tandem with the fast-evolving market,” he said in a statement yesterday.

According to International Data Corp, spending on smart mobility products in Malaysia is expected to reach US$5. 5 billion by 2016, up 20. 6% from the estimated US$4. 6 billion this year China poultry sector losses exceed US$1. 6b on bird flu scare Posted on 16 April 2013 – 03:05pm Print BEIJING (April 16, 2013): China’s poultry sector has recorded losses of more than 10 billion yuan (US$1. billion) since reports emerged of a new strain of bird flu two weeks ago, an official at the country’s National Poultry Industry Association told Reuters on Tuesday. Authorities have slaughtered thousands of birds and closed live poultry markets in Shanghai and Beijing in an attempt to reduce the rate of human infection and allay growing fears about the H7N9 virus. However, new cases are being reported daily. In total 14 people have now died from the bird flu virus and 63 have been infected, the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday.

Most of the cases to date have been in eastern China, where poultry consumption is down by more than half, according to Liu Yonghao, president the New Hope Group, the country’s largest producer of animal feed. Prices have dropped on weaker demand. High-quality chicken is selling for 4 yuan per kg, down from 16 yuan per kg, Liang Zhong, the poultry association official, told the China Daily newspaper. (Liquidation) However National Bureau of Statistics data released on Monday showed that average whole chicken prices nationwide were down only 1. 5% to 18. yuan per kg in the first 10 days of April, compared with the preceding 10-day period.

China is the world’s second largest poultry market after the US, and poultry is the country’s fastest growing meat sector. But a spate of food safety scandals in recent months has hurt consumer confidence in the industry. “Chicken prices are falling which will lead to losses for breeders,” New Hope’s Liu said last week. “There are more than 100 million farmers raising chickens who will need to be supported. ” The recent decline in demand is also having a negative impact on imported poultry. We thought that people would try to avoid domestic chicken, and have more preference for imported chicken, but this is not the case. Across the board, people are being more cautious,” said Sarah Li, director of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council’s Hong Kong office. “According to our importers, (wholesale) sales for both imported and domestic chicken products have declined by 80%. ” – Reuters Electric car maker Fisker cuts 75% of workforce April 6, 2013 LOS ANGELES: High-end electric car maker Fisker Automotive, which has had financial difficulties for months, said yesterday it was laying off 75% of its workforce. Retrenchment)

The US government had focused on the California-based company to encourage the development of green energy, providing it with loans. “Over the last several months, Fisker Automotive Inc has been considering strategic alternatives that would allow the company work through its current financial challenges,” said a company statement cited by the auto trade press. “Our efforts to secure a strategic alliance or partnership are continuing in earnest, but unfortunately we have reached a point where a significant reduction in our workforce has become necessary.

The statement goes on to say that, by the end of the day yesterday, Fisker “will have retained approximately 25% of our workforce”. Fisker was started in southern California in 2007 by former Aston Martin and BMW designer Henrik Fisker and German business partner Bernhard Koehler. Fisker left the company in early March. While Fisker did not have the expected success with its Karma model, which has a price tag of roughly US$100,000, it did attract the likes of stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher.

The car maker lost some 300 vehicles in flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy along the US East Coast last fall and had trouble with several of its suppliers. Several media outlets had recently reported about discussions to place the company under bankruptcy protection. Fisker had refused comment. Apple buys Silicon Valley startup WiFiSlam March 26, 2013 NEW YORK:  Apple has acquired a Silicon Valley startup, WiFiSlam, which makes mapping applications for smart phones. (product development) Apple confirmed the acquisition, but declined to give details.

The news was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal, which quoted a person familiar with the matter as saying that Apple paid around $20 million for the company. “Apple acquires smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” an Apple spokesman told Reuters. WiFiSlam develops technology that provides indoor tracking and similar services. Big tech companies such as Apple and Google have been racing to provide more and better map applications for users. Google’s application, Google Maps, is widely accessed on Google’s Android platform and rival Apple’s rival iOS platform.

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