Friday, June 12, 2015
News this week: The inaugural edition of Seatrade Cruise Asia has been postponed to a later date as a result of the MERS virus outbreak in Korea according to the organiser and UBM subsidiary, Seatrade Communications. The two-day trade show was scheduled to take place at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Centre from 11th to 12th June.
Seatrade received an increasing number of withdrawal notifications from its key stakeholders including delegates, speakers and cruise lines. The organiser says its planned conference programme can no longer be delivered as scheduled as regional travel restrictions have been imposed by other Asian countries.
Andrew Williams, general manager Seatrade, commented, “This decision has not been an easy one and we have looked into every possibility, however in consultation with the industry, we feel that this is the most appropriate course of action.”
News this week: NASDAQ-listed Global Sources announced this week that the company plans to launch a cash tender offer for up to US$50 million in outstanding common shares at US$7.50. That represents a 43% premium over the closing price on Tuesday (US$5.23). Under the terms of the offer, the company may buy back as many as 6.67 million common shares or close to 22% of outstanding shares. According to its financial statement, as of 31st March 2015, the company had US$103.6 million in cash and cash equivalents.
Global Sources has made similar offers three times in the past - buying back US$50 million worth of shares at US$10 per share in 2014, US$100 million at US$9 per share in 2010 and US$50 million at US$8 per share in 2008.
Merle A. Hinrich, Global Sources’ executive chairman, said, “I am pleased to announce that after carefully considering all of the options to return capital to the shareholders, the Board of Directors has approved a tender offer as the most efficient alternative at this time. At the close of the transaction, Global Sources will still have a strong balance sheet, giving us the financial strength to pursue our growth initiatives and other options to invest in the business.”
News this week: Last week, Pico Thailand, the Thai-listed subsidiary of Pico Far East Holdings, announced its results for the quarter ended 30th April 2015. Revenues in the quarter were US$8.7 million, up 34% over the same quarter in 2014. The company recorded a net profit of US$380,000 in the period, compared with a net loss of US$94,000 last year.
Pico Thailand attributed the growth in revenue to its event marketing business stemming from new customers and an increase in marketing-budget spending from the existing customers.
Pico Thailand also reported its results for the half-year ended 30th April. Revenues in the six-month period were US$15 million, a modest increase of 1.1% over the same period last year. The company recorded a net profit of US$377,000, representing strong growth over the 2014 figure of US$78,000. Earnings per share in the period were Baht 0.059 (US$0.0018).
News this week: International exhibition organiser, Koelnmesse, concluded its THAIFEX – World of Food Asia 2015 last month, with record number of visitors. Running from 20th to 24th May at IMPACT Exhibition Center, the five-day trade show attracted more than 35,000 trade visitors, of those, 7,274 were from overseas.
Among the 1,675 exhibitors from 16 sectors, 811 were international exhibitors. This year, a total of 24 country and provincial groups attended the show, including three new national pavilions representing Germany, Mexico and Turkey. Three supporting shows including World of Seafood, World of Coffee & Tea and the World of FoodService were held concurrently with THAIFEX.
Michael Dreyer, vice president, Asia Pacific, Koelnmesse Pte Ltd, said, “THAIFEX – World of Food Asia, celebrated our tenth anniversary last year. This year, we marked a milestone by expanding our fairground, and the continued growth and encouraging response is solid proof that we are growing in the right direction that we started out in. This has been very rewarding for Koelnmesse and our co-organisers, DITP (Department of International Trade Promotion) and TCC (The Thai Chamber of Commerce).”
News this week: The upcoming 5th edition of The HUB, billed as Asia’s premium brand fashion trade show, will relocate from Hong Kong to Shanghai this year. The show will run from 13th to 15th October at Central Studios, to coincide with the Shanghai Fashion Week taking place at the nearby Xintiandi district.
The HUB in Shanghai will showcase around 40 international brands together with a selection of leading Chinese designers. Confirmed exhibitors so far include Boy London, Dienastie from Sweden, Rack & Ruin from the U.K., Swims of Norway, Flying Zachinnis and Juma from the U.S., along with leading Beijing-based designers Zhang Chi and Capitale Nord.
Richard Hobbs, co-founder of The HUB, said, “From the outset just two years ago we knew that at some point we would take The HUB to Mainland China and now is the right time… From today, China will be reducing import tariffs on a number of clothing and footwear categories and we can only see more openness as China makes it easier for brands to import, find buyers and partners.”
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News this week: China’s largest e-commerce company, Alibaba Group, has signed a strategic agreement with Shanghai Media Group (SMG) to serve China’s financial information services industry through their Internet technology and media resources.
Under the agreement, Alibaba will invest RMB 1.2 billion (US$194 million) into China Business News (CBN), a Chinese financial media company under SMG, and launch a financial data and information service company. The two companies will also jointly develop a comprehensive financial data and information platform to provide users, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises, with financial news and information. CBN’s wealth management information product will launch on Mobile Taobao in the near future.
Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma, said, “The era of Data Technology is here and it will surpass the Information Technology era. The DT era is about transparency, sharing of information and enabling others. Alibaba is excited about the possibilities of the DT era and how it can bring value to society.”
Friday, June 05, 2015
News this week: dmg information Asia Pacific announced its venture into the Chinese property information market by investing in Funcent, a data and workflow solutions provider to real estate valuation companies and commercial banks. No financial details were disclosed.
Funcent provides a data workflow and price enquiry platform through its Cloud Appraisal System. According to dmg information, the company will increase its shareholding in Funcent over the next few years to expand its business in China, focusing particularly in the commercial real estate market in Beijing and Shanghai.
Stephen Stout, CEO of dmg information Asia Pacific said, “With our knowledge of the property markets in other countries and the similarity of the Funcent products to those provided by other dmg information companies, we believe we can bring considerable value to the business.”
News this week: According to media reports, leading Chinese-language Internet search provider, Baidu, has plans to further expand its business in Latin America following the launch of its search engine in Brazil last year.
Baidu has reportedly identified Argentina, Chile or Mexico as possible locations to set up the company’s next Latin American operation. Baidu will also aim to position itself as a service aggregator to replace disparate mobile-based apps and create a single platform to offer the services.
Baidu will reportedly rely on acquisitions or form partnerships with local services providers for its expansion plans. In October 2014, Baidu completed an acquisition in Brazil for online group buying platform, Peixe Urbano, for an undisclosed sum.
News this week: The Philippines’ Visayas region is scheduled to receive its first major convention centre with the opening of SMX Convention Center in Cebu by 2017. The size and capacity of the new venue has yet to be determined. Construction will reportedly begin in August 2015.
SMX Convention Centre will become a part of a new development built on reclaimed land that is modelled on Manila’s Mall of Asia. The new development will also include a hotel and an indoor arena for sports, concert and other events.
According to Dexter Deyto, vice president and general manager of SMX Convention Specialists, the new venue will join the group’s existing portfolio of trade halls which include other convention centres in Manila, Bonifacio Global City, Davao and Bacolod.
News this week: Earlier this week, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) released its index report on the first quarter performance of the U.S. exhibition industry. The U.S. exhibition industry grew 4.6% year-on-year to record an eight year high.
All four metrics of CEIR’s index, net square feet sold, number of exhibitors, number of attendees, and revenues, recorded growth. Growth of revenues led the index recording an increase of 7.3% year-on-year. This was followed by growth in net square feet sold of 4.1%, number of attendees by 3.7%, and a 3.3% growth in number of exhibitors.
CEIR President & CEO Brian Casey, CEM, was quoted, “We are very encouraged to see that the exhibition industry is continuing its upward climb. While industry growth has been moderate, the strong performance of Q1 is certainly offering positive indicators for the near future.”