Briefs on investment and media reports published elsewhere during the Oct 13 - 19 week

SPRING Singapore "proud to be part of BEST WORLD'S growth plans"

ImageA resplendent Doreen Tan welcoming guests to Best World at Changi North St 1.

AT THE official opening of Best World’s HQ in Changi on Monday (Oct 15), Philip Yeo, chairman of SPRING Singapore, said: “Best World is a fine example of how a local SME, with strong leadership and committed staff, has grown steadily to become a listed company with a global presence."

"As the enterprise development agency, SPRING Singapore is proud to be part of Best World's growth plans.”

Best World has penetrated markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. It entered the PRC market in September and has signed up 5 BWL outlets.

It targets to have 20 BWL outlets in the PRC by year-end.

Its chairman, Doreen Tan, said: “We will continue to nurture our existing markets while strategizing to enter new markets in Philippines, Japan and Korea by 2010.”

The group’s 45,000 sq ft headquarters houses the corporate office, the Good Manufacturing Practices and ISO 9001 certified packaging facilities and warehouse.  

OCULUS in new energy drives

ImageLow Shiong Jin
OCULUS is taking a new direction in turning itself into an energy play, reported The Edge Singapore. This month, it paid $4 million to acquire a 70% stake in PT Balikpapan Oil Terminal, an Indonesian company that’s building an oil storage terminal in Kalimantan.

“This part of Indonesia does not have this sort of oil facility yet,” says Low Shiong Jin, an executive director of Oculus, in an interview with the weekly.

The oil storage terminal, which will have its own pier to accommodate tankers, will have an initial capacity of 60,000 tonnes which is expandable to 100,000 tonnes. It should be completed by the middle of next year.

On another front, Oculus may eventually yet invest in hydropower plants in China, though its MOUs with them have lapsed recently due delays in obtaining funding, says Mr Low.

Oculus is working on obtaining approval from its shareholders and Singapore authorities for a convertible bond issue to US-based hedge fund DB Zwirn Mauritius Trading of up to $100 million.

Oculus this week announced its reverse takeover of Aretae, an energy and renewable resources company.

Read NextInsight's report: OCULUS as Asia’s No.1 carbon credit developer

ANWELL bosses on share-buying spree

ImageAnwell chairman Franky Fan bought 15 million shares

THREE key members of the management of Anwell Technologies have been raising their stake in the company, reported The Straits Times.

   * Executive chairman and CEO Franky Fan bought 10 million shares on Monday (Oct 15) at an average price of 10.2 cents a share. The Friday before, he loaded up five million shares at 9.5 cents apiece.

   * Executive director Liu Huisen bought five million shares at 9.5 cents on the same Friday.

   * Executive director Ken Wu bought four million shares at 9.5 cents each on Monday (Oct 15).

The purchases come on the heels of bullish statements made in recent months by Anwell executives regarding a strong turnaround in its business outlook. 

Read NextInsight's reports:
ANWELL: Higher profit, higher margins going forward

CHINA WHEEL to sell more overseas

ImageChina Wheel will produce another 5 million wheels by 2010
CHINA Wheel wants to focus more on its export business as it has higher profit margins, says its executive chairman Zang Ligen in an interview with The Edge Singapore.

For first half this year, China Wheel derived 70% of its 446.5 million renminbi sales from OEM manufacturing, 22% from manufacturing for export and 8% from the Chinese retail market. Gross margins for export sales is around 24%, far higher than the 16% for the other segments.

As a result, Zang wants exports to bring in 30% of the revenue, with retail accounting for 10% and OEM manufacturing the remaining 60%. China Wheel counts Hyundai, Toyota, Geely and FAW Group as some of its more visible customers.

The company’s existing plants enjoyed a utilisation rate of 95% for the past four years and its management does not see why this would change when the new Tianjin factory is completed.

The new facility will add 5 million wheels a year to its capacity, which currently stands at 3.6 million.

Read NextInsight's story: CHINA WHEEL’S new Tianjin plant stretches ‘as far as the eye can see”

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