Borneo Aqua eyes S. Korea
The Star
9 August 2005

Sabah-based marine biotechnology company Borneo Aqua Harvest Bhd is targeting to enter South Korea and Japan by next year as part of its strategy to grow its overseas market which currently comprises Hong Kong and China.

It aimed for exports to contribute about 75% of total revenue for the financial year to March 31, 2006, from around 55% in the last financial year, managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Lo Fui Ming said after the launch of the company's prospectus by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman in Sandakan last Saturday.

Lo said Borneo Aqua, which recorded net profit of RM3.3mil on the back of a revenue of RM6mil in the last financial year, was looking at a double-digit growth in revenue for its current financial year.

Lo said he was confident of the company's future growth as it had effective research and development methods, and a good team of experts that put it about three years ahead of its competitors.

Musa in his speech said Borneo Aqua was set to be the first Sabah-based company to be list on the Mesdaq market and also the first company in the country to have successfully mass-produced fish fry of Malabar red snapper, marble grouper and coral trout grouper for commercial purposes.

He added that today, fish was one of the highly traded aquaculture commodities with nearly 40% of fish production traded internationally.

"The United Nations Food Agriculture Organisations (FAO) recently reported that international trade in fishery commodities exceeded US$50bil a year and was expected to increase to US$55bil a year," he said.

Borneo Aqua, which is targeting to list next month, is issuing 25 million 10 sen shares at an issue price of 99 sen per share.

Of the total, 2.5 million shares will be offered to the Malaysian public and eligible directors and employees of Borneo Aqua and 22.5 million ordinary shares offered to identified investors by way of private placement.

The company's floatation exercise is expected to raise some RM24.8mil.

With the listing exercise, Lo said he hoped to expand the business by setting up more ponds and cages together with a new indoor hatchery.

Commerce International Merchant Bankers Bhd is the adviser, sponsor, underwriter and placement agent for Borneo Aqua's initial public offering.

The company's businesses are carried out by two wholly-owned subsidiaries Plentiful Harvest Sdn Bhd and Marine Terrace Sdn Bhd.

Plentiful Harvest is involved in fish breeding, operating fish hatcheries and fish rearing while Marine Terrace's activities are confined to fish rearing.