Southeast Asia Business Roundup

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Southeast Asia Business Roundup

Singapore

Singapore Press Holdings Ltd, which is the biggest newspaper publisher by market value in Southeast Asia, has announced plans to merge two of its tabloids to form a new free-distribution publication as part of a restructuring effort.

It will merge the New Paper and My Paper, but this will lead to workforce cutbacks of between five and 10 percent of staff, mostly part-time workers.

Singapore Press Holdings has a market capitalization of S$6 billion

(US $4.4 billion), more than double that of The New York Times Co. The new “free sheet” will focus on providing news to business-savvy readers to compete with MediaCorp Pte’s Today newspaper.

Singapore Press’ pre-tax income from newspapers and magazines, its biggest business group, has fallen for four straight years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The New Paper was started almost three decades ago and presents news in an “easy-to-read, pop style” for younger adults and busy readers, according to its website. My Paper was started in 2006 as the Singapore’s first free Chinese paper, and reintroduced less than two years later offering news in both English and Chinese, targeting young, bilingual professionals.

 

Malaysia

Hong Kong based private equity firm Evergreen Offshore Inc launched the Asia Pacific One Belt One Road (OBOR) Tourism Industry Fund in Malaysia, the first country in the region it has chosen to launch the sector-focussed vehicle.

Evergreen said it chose to debut this fund in Malaysia as the country is deemed an ideal investment destination for long term gain.

OBOR is a development strategy and framework proposed by Chinese leader Xi

Jinping that focuses on connectivity and cooperation among countries primarily between the People’s Republic of China and the rest of Eurasia.

“Malaysia is strategically situated on the south belt. In addition to the Chinese government, many private sectors, including Evergreen, have come together and aspire to contribute to the success of the ambitious initiative by investing in relevant projects in the OBOR trade route,” it was announced in an official statement.

Malaysia’s tourism industry is expected to grow to 15.8 percent of GDP by 2025. Tourist arrivals to Malaysia increased by 3.7 per cent in the first half of this year while in the same period, tourist expenditure increased by 10.7 percent. China tourist arrivals had increased by 32.1 percent. Growth also came largely from Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei.

 

Philippines

The Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC) has bought a 44.44 percent stake in Elizalde Hotels and Resorts Inc (EHRI) for up to US$4.2 million (P200 million).

The listed media firm said it will be able to maximise return for shareholders by investing in the high growth industry of the hotel and resort business. EHRI is an affiliated company of MBC.

MBC was incorporated on September 30, 1947, to engage in the radio broadcasting business. It expanded its operations to embrace both broadcasting and organizing special events and now operates nationwide with several AM and FM stations.

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