Total Pageviews

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Astro Slips After Measat Fails to Secure Claim

5 Zulkaedah 1434

KUALA LUMPUR: Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd's shares clawed back from its steepest intraday loss in a week yesterday, as investors took up some late positions ahead of a scheduled company briefing today.

The stock fell to an intraday low of RM2.89, closing the day one sen lower at RM2.95 a share with some 2.75 million shares exchanging hands.

The satellite TV provider is expected to hold a media conference today to announce its first-half results for the period ending January 31 2014.

The news conference takes added importance as it will be the first time Astro's top executives will be put under the microscope after it told Bursa Malaysia that the RM995.58 million it had won in an arbitration against three companies linked to Indonesian billionaire Mochtar Riady's Lippo Group cannot be enforced in Indonesia.

Astro is controlled by Ananda Krishnan, Asia's six richest man, who according to Malaysian Business, has a RM32.90 billion estimated fortune.

Astro said on Monday that the Supreme Court of Indonesia had dismissed its appeal against the Central Jakarta District Court's (CJDC) decision which had rejected the claimants' application to enforce the award.

It said the Supreme Court dismissed its appeal against the CJDC's decision as the awards were contrary to public order, amounted to interference with Indonesia's judicial process and violated the principles of the state and legal sovereignty of the country.

Astro's claims were put forward by its unit Measat Broadcast Network Systems Sdn Bhd against three firms from Indonesia, namely, PT First Media Tbk, PT Direct Vision and PT Ayunda Prima Mitra .

The three Indonesian firms are part of the Lippo group, Indonesia's largest developer and one of its biggest conglomerates.

To recap, PT Direct Vision in 2006 started cooperation with Astro, to provide pay TV service Astro in Indonesia. In the first year of its operation Astro made a big bang in the market of pay-TV grabbing the second largest share of the market after Indovision, with 140,000 subscribers in 2007.

In October 2008, Astro broadcast in Indonesia was stopped halted unilaterally by Astro, by stopping supply of programmes to PT Direct Vision on due to an internal conflict between PT Ayunda Prima Mitra, as a shareholder of PT Direct Vision with Astro Malaysia.

The conflict began started from the Lippo Group wanting to divest a 51 per cent stake in Direct Vision valued at US$250 million (RM825 million) to Astro based on an agreement in 2005. Astro, however, rejected as Astro it had already paid all operating and content costs of Direct Vision totaling around US$136 million in almost three years.

Read more: BTimes

Perlis Embarks on RM43m HSBB Project

5 Zulkaedah 1434

PADANG BESAR: Malaysia's smallest state, Perlis, promises high-speed broadband connectivity for its residents and investors by next year.

The RM43 million project, which covers the entire state, is a colla-boration between the Perlis government, Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) and Telekom Malaysia Bhd.

Its Menteri Besar Azlan Man said the project will be carried out in two phases. Work on the first phase, which will cover Kangar and Arau, will start early next month.

"The estimated cost for the project in Kangar alone is about RM12 million. Once Phase One is concluded, work on Phase Two in Padang Besar, will resume."

Information and communications technology is a must if Perlis is to attract investors, adding that a mega project such as this will have a spillover effect on the entire state, said Azlan at a "Perlis Maju 2015" programme yesterday.

Meanwhile, NCIA chief executive Datuk Redza Rafiq Abdul Razak said the project is meant to generate a condusive environment for the private sector and the people of Perlis.

Read more: BTimes