Company Briefs: HSBC Holdings

HSBC Holdings

HSBC Holdings said yesterday it has performed the world's first trade finance transaction using a single blockchain platform, in a push to boost efficiency in the multi-trillion-dollar funding of international trade.

HSBC and Dutch bank ING completed the deal for Cargill last week when a shipment of soya beans was transported from Argentina to Malaysia via the global commodities trader's Geneva and Singapore subsidiaries.

While there have been other trade finance deals that use blockchain in conjunction with other technologies, the Cargill transaction marked the first use of a single, shared digital application rather than multiple systems, HSBC said.


F J Benjamin

Fashion retailer F J Benjamin turned in a net profit of $371,000 for the third quarter, up from $33,000 a year ago, aided partly by cost control and the closure of non-performing stores.

Revenue for the three months ended March 31 declined 16 per cent to $41.8 million owing to the absence of several loss-making brands and businesses, which were terminated as part of a restructuring exercise.

The retailer saw an operating profit of $783,000 - versus a loss of $2.2 million a year ago - aided by lower staff costs, reduced rental costs and other lower operating expenses.

Staff costs fell 18 per cent to $6.6 million, while rental of premises dropped by 43 per cent to $5.8 million, and other operating expenses were down 35 per cent to $4.5 million.

Ying Li International Real Estate

Ying Li International Real Estate has posted a 56.3 per cent drop in first-quarter group net profit to 4.7 million yuan (S$988,300).

This came despite a 53.1 per cent increase in revenue to 309.5 million yuan. Ying Li's bottom line was affected by a drop in other income, as well as higher administrative expenses, finance costs and taxation.

The rise in revenue was mainly driven by the sale of properties segment, due to the handover of bespoke units at Ying Li International Electrical and Hardware Centre Phases 1A and 2A and the sales of completed units from older commercial projects.

It said the gross profit margin from the sale of properties segment rose by 9.5 percentage points to 15.2 per cent in the first quarter of FY2018.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 15, 2018, with the headline 'Company Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe