Saturday 14 December 2013

Questions regarding aborted Berjaya Toto listing in Singapore

YC Cheok asked me to post a link to the article on his blog, I am happy to comply with his request:

"An Open Letter to MSWG - Lack of transparency in abortion of proposed listing of STM trust by Berjaya Sports Toto Berhad"
Dear MSWG person in charge,

I was wondering, what minority stock holder can do, to address the below matter?

By referring to page 2, and page 10 Berjaya Sports Toto Berhad Q2 2013 quarterly report$File/BTOTO%20Q2%20FYE2014.pdf
For the quarter
As compared to the previous year corresponding quarter ended 31 October 2012, the Group recorded a decrease in revenue and pre-tax profit of 4.6% and 20.8% respectively. The higher percentage decrease in pre-tax profit was mainly due to the corporate exercise expenses incurred pursuant to the proposed listing of STM Trust (which was aborted) in the current quarter under review. The drop in the Group's pre-tax profit would be 8.9% should the corporate exercise expenses be excluded.
To find out how much is spent for corporate exercise expenses

* All figures are in '000

127,827 (Q2 2013)
161,451 (Q2 2012) (-20.8%)

If corporate exercise expenses be excluded.

147,082 (Q2 2013)
161,451 (Q2 2012) (-8.9%)
corporate exercise expenses = 19,255 (In '000)
Even without spending RM19,255,000, we can definitely find out Singapore Stock Market is not suitable for dual listing in early stage.

So, why we need to spend RM19,255,000 to learn this simple lesson? Isn't there is something fishy behind?

I feel the entire transaction is lack of transparency? May I know, what action minority shareholders can take, to get the above question answered? 
Thanks. Cheok

I would like to add the following. The reason given by Berjaya Sports Toto is the following:

"On 2 December 2013, the Company announced that the Board decided not to proceed with the proposed listing after considering the challenging market conditions and the poor performances of the listed yield stocks such as real estate investment trusts ("REIT") and other business trusts in Singapore."

That is rather strange, REIT's have been trading at a discount for a long time.

Regarding business trusts in Singapore, I wrote about that before, most notably:

We should not worry about lagging behind because we can learn from the Singapore experience,” a banker says, pointing to the fact that most business trusts in Singapore have so far been performing badly, trading below the initial public offering prices, and causing some investors to suffer losses.

In other words, nothing new under the sun. So why exactly did they want to list in the first place, at such a high cost to the company, as explained by Cheok.

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