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Monday, May 17, 2021

Life insurance sector records single-digit growth in 2020, says LIAM

Malay Mail Social Logo

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Malaysia’s life insurance sector recorded moderate single-digit growth in total in-force business in 2020, despite the challenging business landscape due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) president Loh Guat Lan said total in-force premiums increased 5.3 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM43.4 billion in 2020 from RM41.2 billion in 2019, while the total sum assured in force grew 4.3 per cent y-o-y to RM1.7 trillion in 2020 from RM1.6 trillion previously.

“The total number of policies in force also recorded a marginal growth of 0.9 per cent to RM12.8 million units in 2020 from 12.7 million units in 2019,” she said in LIAM’s annual report 2020 released today.

However, Loh said new business total premiums declined 3.2 per cent y-o-y to RM11.4 billion in 2020 against RM11.7 billion in 2019.

She said new business sum assured also slipped 7.2 per cent to RM437.2 billion in 2020 versus RM471.3 billion in 2019, and the number of new policies also shrank 7.1 per cent to 1.2 million units from 1.3 million units previously.

LIAM represents 14 life insurance companies and two reinsurance companies.

Meanwhile, the association noted that total claims payout in 2020 declined 3.1 per cent y-o-y to RM11.6 billion from RM11.9 billion in 2019.

It said payment for disability and others recorded an increase of six per cent y-o-y and 13 per cent y-o-y, respectively.

Meanwhile, payment for medical claims declined 8.7 per cent y-o-y to RM4.5 billion, accounting for 39 per cent of the total claims’ payout in 2020.

It added that payment for bonuses, which fell 4.2 per cent to RM3.5 billion, constituted 30 per cent of the total claims’ payout in 2020.

On the outlook for 2021, LIAM said the industry is very positive about its performance in the coming months with the resumption of more economic activities and the recovery path for the people and Malaysian economy following the National Immunisation Programme rollout.

“Barring unforeseen circumstances, the industry expects a high single digit growth in 2021,” it said. — Bernama




Source: Malay Mail

DHL Express dedicates direct flights to Penang, Ho Chi Minh City

A DHL logo is seen on a DHL Boeing 757 aircraft during a charity fundraising event at the Safi Aviation Park in Safi, Malta May 1, 2019. —Reuters pic
A DHL logo is seen on a DHL Boeing 757 aircraft during a charity fundraising event at the Safi Aviation Park in Safi, Malta May 1, 2019. —Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — DHL Express has replaced its Hong Kong-Ho Chi Minh-Penang route with a direct flight from its Central Asia Hub in Hong Kong to Penang on an Airbus A300 aircraft five times a week.

This latest move, amid the explosive growth of e-commerce and shipment volumes growth in Asia including Malaysia and Vietnam, would add cargo capacity and shorten transit times.

The global logistics company said an Airbus A300 with 54 tonnes of capacity would be dedicated to serve Penang where electronic components and parts made up the bulk of goods flown.

The northern state is a major hub of manufacturing activity, with electrical and electronics, machinery and equipment, as well as test and measurement instruments leading the industrial charge.

“In 2020, RM14.1 billion in investments flowed into Penang, out of which 75 per cent were foreign direct investment (FDI), making the state the third-highest manufacturing FDI recipient and among the top five in total approved investment in Malaysia,” DHL Express said in a statement.

As a result of increased shipment volume from Vietnam, the Airbus A330 would also serve Ho Chi Minh City directly from Hong Kong six times a week.

“These two dedicated flights will not only add cargo capacity but will equally shorten the transit times to and from these two cities,” said DHL Express.

To cater to the increased demand for express logistics services, DHL Express also recently expanded its airfreight capacity in Asia Pacific by adding new flight routes managed by AeroLogic and Kalitta Air. — Bernama




Source: Malay Mail

Allianz expects global insurance industry to record strong growth in 2021

Malay Mail Social Logo

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Strong growth is expected for the global insurance industry in 2021, mirroring the expected worldwide economic development.

In its Global Insurance Report 2021, Allianz Research said global premiums are expected to increase 5.1 per cent, while the United States (5.3 per cent) and China (13.4 per cent) are likely to be the two main growth engines.

“After the sharp decline in the previous year, the recovery in the life segment (5.7 per cent) will be somewhat stronger than in the property segment (4.2 per cent).

“However, like the pandemic-related slump, the recovery will be uneven,” said the report.

While some regions, especially Asia, will almost seamlessly resume their pre-crisis development as early as 2021, the recovery elsewhere will be much more uncertain, it added.

The report said that this applies above all to Western Europe, in addition to Japan.

This is partly due to the handling of the Covid-19 crisis itself, continued lockdowns due to high case numbers, delayed vaccination campaigns due to supply bottlenecks.

However, it also partly reflects the late effects of the pandemic, it said.

According to the report, low claims expenses in the previous year, especially in motor insurance, are leading to lower premium momentum this year, as the practice of retrospective pricing based on turnovers is having a similar effect in some industrial insurance lines.

In life insurance, the conditions are significantly more favourable, said the report.

Many households have high additional savings, but here, too, it remains questionable whether a dramatic turnaround can be expected as early as this year following the deep slump in 2020 and the continuing uncertainty about the progress of the pandemic, the report noted.

“With the exception of Eastern Europe, the prospects for emerging markets, where there has been no slump in the life business in recent years, are not bad either.

“Here, the strong development of recent years is simply likely to continue,” it said.

In view of the still rudimentary nature of some social security systems and progressive social and demographic change, it added that individual retirement provision is becoming increasingly important in these markets as well.

In 2020, the report said, global premium income fell by only 2.1 per cent and property insurance recorded a small increase of 1.1 per cent, while life business slumped by 4.1 per cent.

Overall, however, this decline was significantly steeper than in 2009 (-1.1 per cent) in the aftermath of the financial crisis. — Bernama




Source: Malay Mail

Malayan Cement’s acquisition of YTL Cement’s assets can bolster profitability

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — The Malayan Cement Bhd’s proposed acquisition of 12 companies involved in cement and ready-mixed concrete businesses in Malaysia for RM5.16 billion from its parent company, YTL Cement Bhd, can potentially bolster the company’s profitability.

In a research note today, MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd (MIDF) said this could be achieved through cost rationalisation and operational synergies in achieving greater economies of scale upon completion of the earnings-accretive exercise.

Malayan Cement is 76.98 per cent-owned by YTL Cement.

The investment bank said it also remained sanguine on the huge improvement in the company’s financial performance in the six-month period of the financial year 2021 (FY21), which showed that the company’s bottom-line to be on brink of the break-even level.

“This was mainly achieved through the company’s initiative to embark on post-integration with YTL Cement. This has made significant progression as reflected in the lower cost of sales and operating costs,” it said.

Therefore, MIDF said the continuous effective cost synergies and steady revenue growth trajectory would be able to present exciting earnings turnaround prospects for the company from FY21 onwards.

As such, MIDF has maintained its “buy” call on Malayan Cement, raising its target price (TP) for the company’s shares higher at RM3.18 from RM3 previously.

Meanwhile, AmInvestment Bank Bhd said based on its estimation, the proposed acquisition would enhance Malayan Cement’s FY22 earning per share (EPS) forecast by about eight per cent as YTL Cement units are projected to generate higher return on equity.

It said the estimation mainly reflected the full dilution from the enlarged share base of 1.7 billion shares arising from the private placement and the new shares and irredeemable convertible preference shares arising from the current deal, among others.

“Also, based on our estimates following the two corporate exercises, Malayan Cement’s net debt and gearing will increase from RM793 million and 0.35x as at end-Dec 2020 to RM3.4 billion and 0.6x respectively,” it said.

Post-exercise, AmInvestment Bank said it is more inclined to value the new entirety via an earnings-based valuation method, given that it shall emerge as a more profitable company.

“Our fair value (FV) shall increase slightly to RM3.48 (from RM3.36 currently).

“The basis of our potential revised FV is an EV/EBITDA (enterprise value to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation ratio) of 12x, an estimated consolidated EBITDA of RM800 million in FY22, a net debt of RM3.4 billion and an enlarged share cap of 1.78 billion,” it said.

The investment bank said it also maintained its view that the worst is behind the cement sector in Peninsular Malaysia following the recent sector consolidation, resulting in more rational competition amongst players.

However, it said recovery would be gradual, given the still weak outlook for its two main consuming industries, property and construction, further weighed down by the lingering pandemic.

“At its current share price, the market is effectively valuing Malayan Cement at about 20 per cent discount to its replacement cost, which we believe is unjustified.

“For now, we value Malayan Cement at a 10 per cent discount to replacement cost, which we believe is appropriate,” it added.

As such, AmInvestment Bank has retained a “buy” recommendation on Malayan Cement’s shares with a FV of RM3.36 per share.

Meanwhile, CGS-CIMB Securities Sdn Bhd expects the inclusion of YTL Cement’s domestic operations would immediately enhance Malayan Cement’s revenue and profit outlook, and result in an 18 per cent increase in forecast FY22 book value (BV) for the enlarged company.

CGS-CIMB Securities has upgraded its recommendation on Malayan Cement to “add” from hold but kept its TP at RM3.26.

At 3.54pm, Malayan Cement’s shares rose six sen to RM2.86. — Bernama




Source: Malay Mail

France says to lend Sudan US$1.5b to pay off IMF debt

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen at the IMF headquarters building during the 2013 Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, April 18, 2013. ― Reuters pic
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen at the IMF headquarters building during the 2013 Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, April 18, 2013. ― Reuters pic

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PARIS, May 17 — The French government will lend Sudan US$1.5 billion to help the African nation pay off its massive debt to the International Monetary Fund as it emerges from decades of authoritarian rule, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said today.

“President Macron will confirm later today that France will provide the US$1.5 billion bridge loan to clear Sudan’s arrears to the IMF,” Le Maire said at the opening of an international conference aimed at helping Sudan in its transition to democratic government. — AFP




Source: Malay Mail

Gold-related counters’ shares rise on higher gold prices

Gold bars are pictured in a vault at Shinhan Bank in Seoul, South Korea. — AFP pic
Gold bars are pictured in a vault at Shinhan Bank in Seoul, South Korea. — AFP pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Shares of gold-related counters such as listed jewellers Poh Kong Holdings Bhd and Tomei Consolidated Bhd were actively traded in the afternoon session today as gold prices reportedly rose to a three-month high on a weaker US dollar and lower United States’ (US) Treasury yields.

At 2.45pm today, Poh Kong surged 20 sen to RM1.02, Tomei jumped 27 sen to RM1.28 and Niche Capital Emas rose 4.5 sen to 27 sen.

SPI Asset Management global managing partner Stephen Innes said the key focus would be the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) statement but there is no indication that the US Federal Reserve (Fed) would be in a rush to taper or looking to extend current quantitative easing exercise throughout the year, which should be supportive for gold.

“The combination of higher inflation and a dovish statement by the Fed is a fantastic combination for gold, provided that the Fed policy does not adjust to higher inflation and the FOMC continue to view current inflation as transitory,” he told Bernama.

On Friday, Dallas Federal Reserve president Robert Kaplan raised the prospect of a rise in US inflation expectations due to imbalances between supply and demand for labour and goods. — Bernama




Source: Malay Mail

European stocks steady with focus on economic reopening

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.04 per cent by 0722 GMT. The benchmark posted a marginal weekly drop on Friday as it recovered much of its losses spurred by a US inflation scare. — Reuters pic
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.04 per cent by 0722 GMT. The benchmark posted a marginal weekly drop on Friday as it recovered much of its losses spurred by a US inflation scare. — Reuters pic

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LONDON, May 17 — European stocks inched higher on Monday after a sharp recovery late last week, as optimism about European economic reopening offset gloom from underwhelming China data.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.04 per cent by 0722 GMT. The benchmark posted a marginal weekly drop on Friday as it recovered much of its losses spurred by a US inflation scare.

The British economy reopened on Monday, giving 65 million people a measure of freedom after the gloom of a four-month Covid-19 lockdown. UK’s blue-chip FTSE 100 was flat, while the domestically focussed midcap index rose 0.3 per cent.

Irish airline Ryanair rose 1.3 per cent despite reporting a record annual after-tax loss as it said there were signs the recovery had begun.

German chemical group Bayer fell 3.1 per cent after a US federal appeals court upheld a US$25 million (RM103.2 million) judgment and trial verdict finding the company’s Roundup caused a California resident’s non-Hodgkin lymphoma. — Reuters




Source: Malay Mail

Bursa Malaysia mixed at mid-afternoon

The overall market breadth was weaker as losers thumped gainers 967 to 206, while 300 counters were unchanged, 712 untraded and five others suspended.— Bernama pic
The overall market breadth was weaker as losers thumped gainers 967 to 206, while 300 counters were unchanged, 712 untraded and five others suspended.— Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Bursa Malaysia’s key index has remained in the positive territory at mid-afternoon amidst the cautious sentiment on the broader market.

At 3.05pm, the benchmark index FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 2.42 points to 1,584.94 from Wednesday’s close of 1.582.52.

However, the overall market breadth was weaker as losers thumped gainers 967 to 206, while 300 counters were unchanged, 712 untraded and five others suspended.

Total volume stood at 4.44 billion worth RM2.41 billion.

Among the heavyweights, Maybank advanced nine sen to RM8.30, Public Bank appreciated six sen to RM4.20, TNB expanded by nine sen to RM9.96 and CIMB added three sen to RM4.21.

Meanwhile, Petronas Chemicals fell 13 sen to RM7.97, IHH Healthcare eased nine sen to RM5.36 and Top Glove and Press Metal both declined seven sen to RM5.28 and RM5.33, respectively.

Of the actives, UCrest improved 6.5 sen to 36.5 sen, Kanger gained one sen to 8.5 sen, Niche Capital was four sen higher at 26.5 sen, MTouche rose 5.5 sen to 34 sen, while both Lambo and Focus Dynamics inched down half-a-sen to one sen and 5.5 sen, respectively.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index decreased 36.50 points to 11,526.54, the FBMT 100 Index was 15.57 points lower at 11,218.4, the FBM Emas Shariah Index declined 83.13 points to 12,847.27, the FBM ACE discounted 209.16 points to 7,737.0 and the FBM 70 erased 147.90 points to 14,827.94.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index improved 65.69 points to 14,916.23, the Industrial Products and Services Index slid 3.83 points to 193.41, while the Plantation Index weakened 76.43 points to 6,997.35. — Bernama




Source: Malay Mail

Axiata confident of delivering dividend target of 20 sen per share by 2024

Axiata Group chief executive officer Datuk Izzaddin Idris said the telco has shifted its gear to transform into a high dividend company — supported by short — to long-term strategies that would drive growth while creating long-term value for its shareholders. — Reuters pic
Axiata Group chief executive officer Datuk Izzaddin Idris said the telco has shifted its gear to transform into a high dividend company — supported by short — to long-term strategies that would drive growth while creating long-term value for its shareholders. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Telecommunication giant, Axiata Group Bhd is confident that it will be able to raise its dividend payout to 20 sen per share by 2024, which translates to a payout of RM1.8 billion in cash for a capital base of nine billion shares.

Group chief executive officer Datuk Izzaddin Idris said the telco has shifted its gear to transform into a high dividend company — supported by short — to long-term strategies that would drive growth while creating long-term value for its shareholders.

“Moving forward, our robust financial and structural fundamentals will bolster our defences against current and future uncertainties as we continue to capture emerging growth opportunities, accelerate digital transformation, invest in cutting-edge network infrastructure and deliver on the high dividend expectations of our shareholders,” he said in the Axiata Integrated Annual Report 2020 released today.

On its short-term strategy, Izzaddin said Axiata will maintain a tightly calibrated approach to business in 2021, given that ongoing global vaccination efforts could stabilise the crisis; but noted that operating markets will need some time to regain economic growth momentum.

He added that industry challenges such as network capacity demand, consumer relief imperatives and ongoing regulatory uncertainties are expected to continue.

In the meantime, Axiata has allocated a capital expenditure of RM6.5 billion to support its growth and future-readiness, said Izzaddin.

“Axiata’s investment strategy remains aligned to the principle of investing, where there is market demand or growth opportunity subject to a favourable regulatory and enabling environment.

“We expect to continue our investment thrust in Indonesia with an emphasis on regions outside Java (ex-Java), and similarly in regions beyond Comilla, Chittagong and Dhaka in Bangladesh,” he said.

In the medium-term, Izzaddin said Axiata will continue to grow its digital business in partnership with regional and global leaders to bring to fruition its innovation and business creation efforts over the past years.

It will also continue to seek market consolidation opportunities across territories and commit to establishing a framework for 5G Leadership in each of its operating markets.

Izzaddin added that in the long run, Axiata will continue to prioritise cash and profitability while being relentless in its focus on group synergies and operational excellence to deliver on its customer promise in all of its markets. — Bernama




Source: Malay Mail

Indonesia’s Gojek, Tokopedia merge to create tech champion

The deal comes as Gojek and Tokopedia — each backed by global heavyweight investors — seek to boost profitability some 10 years after they were founded by marrying their services in one bouquet under a single platform. It also extends growing consolidation among Southeast Asia’s fast-moving tech startups. — Reuters pic
The deal comes as Gojek and Tokopedia — each backed by global heavyweight investors — seek to boost profitability some 10 years after they were founded by marrying their services in one bouquet under a single platform. It also extends growing consolidation among Southeast Asia’s fast-moving tech startups. — Reuters pic

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SINGAPORE, May 17 — Indonesian ride-hailing and payments firm Gojek and e-commerce leader Tokopedia announced a multi-billion dollar merger of their businesses on Monday, creating a technology powerhouse called GoTo Group in the country’s largest-ever deal.

The deal comes as Gojek and Tokopedia — each backed by global heavyweight investors — seek to boost profitability some 10 years after they were founded by marrying their services in one bouquet under a single platform. It also extends growing consolidation among Southeast Asia’s fast-moving tech startups.

Alibaba Group Holding, SoftBank Group Corp and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC are among Tokopedia’s investors, while Gojek’s include Google, Warburg Pincus and Tencent Holdings.

Sources familiar with the situation had earlier said the companies were seeking a US$18 billion (RM74.3 billion) merger.

In a joint statement, the firms did not give a current value of the merged GoTo Group, but said that based on historical fundraising of the companies, the combined past valuation was US$18 billion.

Gojek Chief Executive Andre Soelistyo will lead the combined business as GoTo’s chief executive officer, while Tokopedia President Patrick Cao will become president of GoTo. “Our business model is now even more diverse, stable and sustainable. We have Gojek’s high volume, high frequency mobility transactions, combined with Tokopedia’s high value, medium frequency e-commerce transactions,” said Cao.

Last month, Southeast Asia’s biggest ride-hailing and food delivery firm, Grab, clinched a US$40 billion merger with a special purpose acquisition company. Meanwhile Singapore-based regional internet firm Sea Ltd, which operates e-commerce platform Shopee, is also muscling into food delivery and financial services.

Goldman Sachs is the financial advisor to Gojek, and Citi is financial advisor to Tokopedia. — Reuters




Source: Malay Mail

Malaysia Airlines partners Revemax to enhance revenue strategy

Malaysia Airlines Bhd group chief executive officer Izham Ismail said the airlines has seen the importance of having a robust and sustainable business, built upon a foundation of digitalisation which has allowed the business to operate efficiently, given the circumstances. — Reuters pic
Malaysia Airlines Bhd group chief executive officer Izham Ismail said the airlines has seen the importance of having a robust and sustainable business, built upon a foundation of digitalisation which has allowed the business to operate efficiently, given the circumstances. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Malaysia Airlines has partnered ReveMax to implement the Airline Revenue Maximisation Solution (ARMS) to strengthen the airline’s commercial decision-making and business processes.

It said the partnership allows ReveMaX to provide innovative ARMS solution, a strategic decision support platform, and a complete and comprehensive picture of an airline’s revenue and cost ecosystem.

“The system also enables airline personnel to see a transparent, unadulterated, and 360-degree bird’s-eye view of the airline’s day-to-day health and make an immediate revenue decision based on fact-based data,” the national carrier said in a statement today.

Powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, it said the platform provides predictive and prescriptive intelligence, connects different airline departments, and guides towards making smarter strategic decisions for profitability and sustaining financial good health of the organisation.

Malaysia Airlines Bhd group chief executive officer Izham Ismail said the airlines has seen the importance of having a robust and sustainable business, built upon a foundation of digitalisation which has allowed the business to operate efficiently, given the circumstances.

“Together with our other in-house system integrations, we can fully automate changes to our processes and trigger executions with limited manual interventions,” he said.

ReveMax is a digital strategic solutions provider that focuses on digital strategic transformation, system integrations that capitalise on emerging technologies, as well as engage in a strategic and innovative process. — Bernama




Source: Malay Mail

Next Digital’s future clouded after HK govt freezes owner Jimmy Lai’s assets

The move against Media mogul Jimmy Lai’s assets raises worries about the future of Next Digital, which he has been keeping afloat with loans, although the company’s CEO has said that the frozen assets have no link with its bank accounts. — Reuters pic
The move against Media mogul Jimmy Lai’s assets raises worries about the future of Next Digital, which he has been keeping afloat with loans, although the company’s CEO has said that the frozen assets have no link with its bank accounts. — Reuters pic

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HONG KONG, May 17 — Trading in shares of Hong Kong’s Next Digital Ltd was suspended today and worries grew over the pro-democracy media group’s future, after authorities froze assets of its jailed owner Jimmy Lai under a new national security law.

The shares will remain on a trading halt ahead of a company announcement regarding the freeze in Lai’s assets, including his majority stake in the firm, Next Digital said.

The move against Lai’s assets raises worries about the future of Next Digital, which he has been keeping afloat with loans, although the company’s CEO has said that the frozen assets have no link with its bank accounts.

Given this is the first time a listed firm has been targeted under the new security law imposed by China in 2020, it also fuels concerns about the broader investment environment in the Asian financial hub.

Lai, a democracy activist and staunch Beijing critic, was sentenced to 14 months in prison for taking part in unauthorised assemblies during anti-government protests in Hong Kong in 2019, and is among the most high profile arrests made under the security law.

He faces three alleged charges under the new law, including collusion with a foreign country. Lai and nine other activists were in court today for the first day of a trial over an unauthorised assembly on October 1, 2019.

Lai has a 71.26 per cent stake in Next Digital worth around HK$350 million (US$45 million) based on Friday’s closing share price.

But the freeze of assets belonging to the major shareholder will not affect company operations as the frozen assets have nothing to do with Next Digital’s bank accounts, CEO Cheung Kim-hung told the Apple Daily newspaper.

Next Digital runs Apple Daily, Hong Kong’s most influential pro-democracy newspaper that has long been a thorn in the side of Hong Kong and Chinese authorities.

A senior management source at Apple Daily told Reuters last week, before the asset freeze was announced, that the group had tried to “firewall” its media operations from Lai’s other businesses, but they believed authorities still had ways to “neuter” the paper, without elaborating.

“It’s simply a matter of if they want to do it. If they want to move (on us), they’ll move,” the source said.

Can only survive nine or 10 months

Without fresh cash injections, Next Digital can only survive another nine or 10 months, Apple Daily cautioned on Saturday, a day after authorities announced they had frozen Lai’s assets.

A shareholder’s loan of HK$756 million, of which HK$500 million had been drawn as of end-September, was an “important source of funding” and may not be available anymore given the freeze, the paper added.

The group’s bank borrowings amounted to HK$262.3 million as of end-September, repayable within three years. Its net cash position was HK$228.7 million at the time.

Apple Daily said revenue for the group had also come under pressure with “pro-China forces” in Hong Kong boycotting various advertising resources, making its operation “extremely difficult”.

The paper reported on Friday its Taiwan arm, set up in 2003, would stop publishing its print version given declining advertising revenue and more difficult business conditions in Hong Kong linked to politics.

Authorities say media freedom in the city is intact, but have warned China’s national security is a red line.

Senior Hong Kong officials have warned Apple Daily about its coverage and flagged the introduction of a “fake news” law.

“I just hope that you know our friends outside can withstand the continuing oppression that we are witnessing in Hong Kong, especially with the media,” Avery Ng, one of the 10 defendants in Monday’s illegal assembly trial, said before entering court. — Reuters




Source: Malay Mail