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Philippines - Food and beverage conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC) will push through with the IPO of its domestic beer and packaging businesses this year.

Despite bleak market conditions, SMC president Ramon Ang said that the company will go ahead with two initial public offering to raise US$620 million (25.2 billion pesos) for its expansion into new sectors such as energy and mining.

Local media reports quoted Ang who said over the weekend that SMC intends to have all its units listed on the Philippines Stock Exchange. Currently, it has some businesses listed already, including San Miguel Purefoods, Ginebra San Miguel Inc, and San Miguel Properties Philippines Inc.

In preparation for the IPO, SMC has been selling off its domestic beer and packaging operations. In February 2008, it sold a 35% stake in its packaging unit to Japan's Nihon Yamamura Glass for around US$130 million.

Nihon Yamamura Glass is a long-time joint venture partner of San Miguel in the Philippines, where they operate the country's largest glass plant as well as a glass plant in Vietnam.

In 2007, SMC sold its overseas business, Australian dairy and juice producer National Foods, to Japanese brewer Kirin Holdings for US$2.6 billion. SMC is 20% owned by Kirin.

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Kazakhstan – London Stock Exchange listed, Kazakhstan Kagazy PLC the parent company of Central Asia’s largest producer of paper, corrugated board and packaging products and one of the leading industrial real estate development companies in the country, has announced its financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2007.

Production volume of the company’s two main product lines, corrugated packaging and container board, increased by 41% and 49% year on year, respectively, for the nine month period. The growth in revenue of Kagazy’s paper segment has further accelerated in the third quarter compared to the first half of the year and reflected the positive seasonal impact on business.

Following the acquisition of Kazupack in August 2007, Kagazy has completed the integration of the company’s production facilities into its operations during the quarter. Kazupack contributed US$ 0.9 million of revenue and US$ 0.1 million of EBITDA for the third quarter. During the quarter Kazupack’s own corrugating machine has been decommissioned and the plant has been refitted to convert corrugating sheets to boxes.

Kagazy’s paper mill and corrugating plant are currently operating at 85% and 62% capacity, respectively.

Unprecedented growth
According to Maksat Arip, Chief Executive Office of Kazakhstan Kagazy PLC  “Our paper business has experienced unprecedented growth in the first nine months of 2007 and we do, therefore, expect that the rate of growth will be lower in 2008.

“However, we will continue to drive volume increases and efficiency improvements in our business, in order to yield higher operating margins. As a result, we expect the level of capital expenditure in 2008 to be lower than previously anticipated.

Kagazy’s operating profit more than tripled year on year over the first nine months and increased by more than four fold in the third quarter, with operating margin expanding to 21.2% for both periods compared to 11.5% for the nine months and 9.2% for the third quarter of 2006.

{tab=Highlights}

  • Consolidated revenues up 85% year on year to US$ 23.6 million
  • EBITDA increased more than four fold year on year to US$ 6.7 million with an EBITDA margin of 28.3%
  • Operating profit increased more than four fold year on year to US$ 5.0 million with an Operating margin of 21.2%
  • Net profit of US$ 8.5 million with a Net profit margin of 35.8%{/tabs}

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CHINA - Shiner International, Inc, a market leader in China's anti-counterfeit plastic films industry, has started trading in the US under stock symbol: SHNL.

According to the company's business in the SEC 8-K filing, Shiner is a US corporation that has its primary operations in China. Shiner is the leading producer of coated films in China with an approximate 55% market share of domestic coated film output.

Founded in 2003, Shiner's operations in China are headquartered in the city of Haikou, the capital city of Hainan Province.

Shiner's products include coated packaging film, shrink-wrap film, common packaging film, anti-counterfeit laser holographic film and color printed packaging materials.

About 60% of customers are located in China with the remainder located in Southeast Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America.

According to the filing “Our largest customers for the anti-counterfeit plastic films are Sony Music of Shanghai in China and Vintaba Tobacco of Vietnam for international sales.”

The Company holds 12 patents on both products and production equipment, and has additional patent applications currently pending. All of the Company's coated films have met the approval of US FDA requirements as well as those required for food products sold in the EU. Shiner's products have been certified as meeting the requirements of ISO 9001:2000.

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INDIA - The Punjab-based packaging firm Bharat Box Factory Ltd is in talks with a UK-based financial fund for raising US$15 million (Rs60 crore) through venture capital route to fund its capacity expansion programme.

"We are holding talks with a UK-based fund in order to raise money for funding our expansion project," said Bharat Box Factory Director (Finance) Sumeet Jain..

Refusing to divulge the name of the fund and the quantum of stake that would be divested, he said "within next twenty days, the deal will be finalised."

Under the capacity expansion project, which is aimed at consolidating its position in the market, the company plans to invest US$7.5 - $10 million (Rs300-400 million) to double its capacity in the next 7-8 months.

"We plan to add more packaging lines comprising pre-press and post-press with this investment, thereby, raising the production capacity from 35,000 tonne to 70,000 tonne per annum," Jain said, adding that the company is also importing new machines from Germany for its packaging segment.

Bharat Box expects to hit US$1 billion (Rs450 crore) turnover by the end of this financial year.

Bullish about the growth of packaging industry, Jain expects the sector to grow over 20% in the future.

"Reason being the focus of Indian government towards output and proper marketing of agriculture produce which will give big push to the packaging requirement," he said.

Bharat Box, currently manufactures packaging facilities to companies like Moser Baer India, Wockhardt, Oriflame, MDH Spices and Glaxo Smithkline among others.

Besides packaging, the company makes plastic products which are exported to countries like Yemen, Canada, the UK, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tanzania and Russia.

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CHINA - Nasdaq listed Fuwei Films (Holdings) Co. Limited, China's leading manufacturer and distributor of high quality BOPET plastic film, has announced that its wholly owned operating subsidiary, Fuwei Films (Shandong) Co. Ltd (''Shandong Fuwei''), expects to receive a US$4 million (RMB 30 million) loan from the Weifang City Hi & New Technology Project Industrial Development Fund to support the company's Technology Center project.

As part of the Fuwei Films Technology Center project, the company is building a small-scale trial production line for the purpose of conducting research and development. This new trial production line will be primarily used for research into the development of multiple-layer BOPET films and may also be utilized for commercial production. Using a dedicated production line of a smaller trial production scale will enable the company to save costs and reduce waste during the process of development, particularly during test production.

Xiaoan He, Chairman and CEO of Fuwei Films commented, ''We are very pleased that the local government recognizes the importance of Fuwei Films' business expansion plans, especially the development of high level value-added technology.”

After granting Fuwei Films a low-interest loan of US$2.6 million (RMB 20 million) in 2006, the local government continues to provide support to Fuwei's progress and efforts in improving technology.

The funds from the new US$4 million (RMB 30 million) loan can continuously be used in the trial production line project and to support other research and development efforts in the company’s Technology Center, including purchasing of key durable and large-scale R&D equipment needed to develop high-level value-added products or purchasing patents and specific technology.''

Shandong Fuwei entered into a ''Letter of Intent of Fund Support'' with the Administration Committee of Weifang City Hi & New Technology Industrial Development Zone regarding the Hi-Tech Industry Development Funding of Fuwei Films Technology Center project. Fuwei expects that subject to final approvals, funds from the US$4 million (RMB 30 million) loan will be available in the fourth quarter of 2007.

The Weifang government established the Hi & New Technology Project Industrial Development Fund in 2006, for the purpose of enhancing the independent innovation and technical R&D ability of local enterprises, and to support the development of local Hi & New Technology enterprises.

About Fuwei Films
Fuwei Films conducts its business through its wholly owned subsidiary Shandong Fuwei Films Co., Ltd. Shandong Fuwei develops, manufactures and distributes high quality plastic films using the biaxial oriented BOPET film (biaxially oriented polyethylene terephthalate). Fuwei's BOPET film is widely used to package food, medicine, cosmetics, tobacco and alcohol, as well as in the imaging, electronics, and magnetic products industries.

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