United Envirotech To Acquire Water Supply & Treatment Plants In Shandong
United Envirotech (UEL) announced in its media communiqué on 29 March 2012 that it had signed a sales and purchase agreement to acquire a water supply plant and a wastewater treatment plant in Chanyi City, Shandong, China. UEL intends to set up a joint venture with existing shareholders of the plants whereby UEL will hold a 70 percent stake. The total investment by UEL is approximately Rmb165 million ($33 million) with part of the investment amounting to Rmb60 million ($12 million) going towards modification and upgrading works of the existing wastewater treatment plant to use UEL’s proprietary membrane technology. The water plant will supply industrial water to textile companies located in the industrial parks of Changyi while the treatment plants treats industrial wastewater from the same companies. Both plants have capacities of around 40,000 cubic metres with the treatment plant already operating at full capacity. The water supply plant is expected to commence operations by 2Q12.
Significance: The investment by UEL will add two plants to its water plant portfolio in Shandong province. It is expected that the newly acquired plants will leverage on UEL’s technical strengths and contribute positively to the company’s performance.
AVIC Clinches US$60m Shipbuilding Contract
China-based shipbuilding management and consultancy services provider, AVIC Singapore, announced in the evening of 29 March 2012 that it had secured a US$60 million contract to build five service vessels. The vessels, three of which being the Azimuth Stern Drive tugboat, one being a diver boat and the last being a bunkering tanker, will be built at the group’s subcontracted shipyards in China. They will be scheduled for delivery in 2013 and be expected to contribute to FY12 and FY13 revenues. AVIC International Holdings, a majority shareholder of AVIC Singapore, has provided performance guarantees for the execution of the contract. AVIC Singapore’s chairman, Diao Weicheng remarked that the contract win was the firm’s first major shipbuilding contract since it was listed on the Singapore Exchange in September 2011. Diao also affirmed that AVIC Singapore is on track with its growth strategy to expand along the ship-design, shipbuilding and ship-trading related businesses.
Significance: The firm remains optimistic of the long-term development of the global shipbuilding industry. This is especially so, given rising global demand from the oil and gas sector due to high oil prices.
DBS In Bid To Sell More Housing Loans And Securities
DBS intends to leverage on its branch network in an attempt to sell more home loans and unit trusts. Bank executives informed the media on 29 March 2012 that branch sales have increased since the beginning of 2012 as it sought to reconnect with customers through its 81 branches. Bank executives said that a new branch operating model where the manager was given more power to run the outlet helped to drive sales by engaging customers directly. DBS head of consumer banking, Jeremy Soo, likened branch managers to being entrepreneurs or businessmen, with the ability to tailor marketing activities according to customers’ needs. Soo cited a tea party held by POSB Tampines branch and a feng shui talk at its CompassPoint branch as different activities initiated by their respective branch managers.
Significance: The new strategy by DBS seems to be bearing fruit. In 2011, 12 branches that tested the new model experienced monthly investment sales growth of 84 percent over 2010, compared with 35 percent in an unconverted branch.