Jaya must find new business or lose listing

Jaya Holdings became a cash company after the sale of its offshore fleet and shipyards in June last year. Its plan to acquire an oil palm and timber business has fallen through.
Jaya Holdings became a cash company after the sale of its offshore fleet and shipyards in June last year. Its plan to acquire an oil palm and timber business has fallen through.PHOTO: JAYA HOLDINGS

Cash company faces Dec 3 deadline; another firm on SGX, China Hongcheng, to be delisted

Jaya Holdings has to act quickly to stave off a delisting from the Singapore Exchange (SGX), but it is too late for another firm, China Hong-cheng Holdings.

The latter is to be delisted after failing to improve its financial position and exit the SGX watchlist of financially embattled firms.

Jaya, which became a cash company following the sale of its offshore fleet and shipyards in June last year, was given three more months to meet listing rules that require cash companies to acquire new businesses after a six-month extension to do so expired on Tuesday.

Jaya had failed to acquire an oil palm and timber business, and now has to find an operating business by Dec 3, or face delisting.

An exclusivity period for a planned acquisition of the Indonesian business from a Mr Hery Hermawan and his family expired on Tuesday after having already been extended in July. The all-share deal for 24 Indonesian plantation companies and two timber management companies was first announced in May. The company had planned to seek a transfer to the Catalist board after the deal went through.

"The company will continue to pursue appropriate opportunities to acquire a new business with a view to meeting the requirements for a new listing," Jaya said in a statement on Wednesday. No further extension will be given after Dec 3.

Jaya shares last traded at 3.1 cents, down 0.1 cent or 3.1 per cent.

SGX will delist China Hongcheng, which was placed on the watchlist in September 2013 after reporting three straight years of losses.

The company, which said it has been "making efforts to improve its financial position to meet listing rules", had not done so within two years as required under the rules.

For its latest full-year 2015 earnings, it sank deeper into the red as net losses widened to 235.3 million yuan (S$52 million) from 77.5 million yuan a year ago. Its revenues fell 23 per cent to 295 million yuan.

The firm cited weak market demand and slow global recovery in the past year leading to a drop in sale prices of cotton textile products. Increasing labour costs and high energy and finance costs also hurt the domestic textile industry.

The appreciation of the yuan against European and South-east Asian currencies during the period in review - the full year ended June 30 - affected sales there.

But the company expects exports to the US market to continue to grow, following the recent depreciation of the yuan against the greenback after China devalued its currency on Aug 11.

China Hongcheng has to provide a reasonable exit offer to its shareholders within a month. Its shares will trade until Oct 1, 5.05pm, before being suspended. The suspension will remain in place until completion of the exit offer.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2015, with the headline 'Jaya must find new business or lose listing'. Print Edition | Subscribe