|Hii in talks to list property business|
|Business & Markets 2012|
|Written by Cindy Yeap of theedgemalaysia.com|
|Thursday, 20 September 2012 08:51|
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Clement Hii is mulling listing his property development business with ongoing projects in Ipoh with a gross development value of RM550 million.
Hii, who has been raising his equity interest in SYF Resources Bhd, revealed there had been “some discussions” on listing his property business but he refused to say whether SYF was involved in any way.
“It is still premature to comment,” he told theedgemalaysia.com in a telephone interview yesterday.
He also declined to comment on speculation that he intends to inject his property business into SYF later.
On his move to raise his stake in furniture-maker SYF, Hii said he has no intention to take control of SYF “at the moment”.
SYF’s share price has nearly doubled since early August from 44 sen to 82 sen yesterday amid the emergence of a new shareholder and speculation of possible asset injection.
Hii, who is also the managing director of SEG International Bhd (SEGi), on Tuesday mopped up 7.75 million SYF shares to up his shareholding in the company to 15%, just three months after emerging as a substantial shareholder with a 10.01% stake on May 31.
“I am confident of my investment in SYF but I have no intention of being in the driver’s seat at the moment,” Hii said.
His active acquisition of SYF stock from June to September has sparked speculation that he is keen to gain control of the furniture manufacturing firm from the largest shareholder, Ng Ah Chai, who is also the company’s executive chairman and CEO.
Ng currently has a 23.34% stake in the company, up from 20.88% in April following his purchases.
Responding to a question on whether the SYF chairman will be threatened by Hii’s aggressive buying, Hii said with a laugh: “I’m already on the board of SYF … I’m not acting in concert with Ng [on SYF share purchases]... whether or not Ng feels threatened by my purchases, you’ll have to ask him.”
Ng had yet to respond to theedgemalaysia.com’s request for an interview at press time.
Describing Ng as someone he could “definitely” work with, Hii said: “Ng is a very hands-on manager. He has his strengths and has a good team of people working with him.
“If you’re going to invest in a company, you have to be confident the people running it can take the company to greater heights … I think the company will do well.”
The company incurred a net loss of RM2.23 million for the financial year ended July 30, 2011, against RM7.89 million the year before. Revenue dropped to RM156.1 million from RM172.4 million.
However, SYF returned to the black with a net profit of RM45.8 million for the nine months ended April 30, in contrast to a net loss of RM1.88 million in the previous corresponding period.
The improved earnings were due to the waiver of debts by scheme lenders and over-provision of interest amounting to RM32.3 million and RM5.4 million respectively upon the completion of SYF’s restructuring scheme in October last year.
This article is appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on 20 September, 2012.