Mesdaq Taipan
ProQuest Information and Learning Company
16 February 08
by Cynthia Ann Peterson

THE Mesdaq market has seen an interesting turn of events over the last year, with many big names making the transition to the Main Board. Green Packet Bhd, JobStreet.Com Bhd and Dreamgate Corporation Bhd are some of the companies now seeking their fortunes there, and so the do not make the Mesdaq Top 10 this year. Of these companies, it is Green Packet's departure that leaves the biggest impact. The next generation mobile broadband solutions company had a market capitalisation of some RM2 billion this time last year, accounting for nearly 15% of Mesdaq's total market capitalisation. The company helped push the total wealth of the Top 10 technology tycoons to RM1.5 billion last year.

This year, no company on the technology and high growth board can boast of such stellar market capitalisation, with only two in the Top 10 having over RM500 million as per our January 19, 2008 cut off point (YTL e- Solutions Bhd is part of the larger YTL conglomerate featured in the cover story). Thus, this year's total wealth is just over RM888 million. It is interesting to note however, that Green Packet's market capitalisation is down to RM799.9 million, and its share price on January 19 closed at RM2.40, a far cry from the days when it touched RM5. However, the company has the coveted Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) licence via its unit Packet One Networks (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (P1), and plans to roll out services in June. This may help bring local investor attention back on the company, as it is now in a larger pool of more prolific companies vying for investments.

Top 3

With the transition of the companies that formerly made the list to the Main Board, this year's list is dominated by new entries.

Heading the list are ETI Tech Corporation's Dennis Chuah and Lee Kah Kheng, who occupy the top two spots respectively. Chuah moves up from seventh to first with a total wealth of RM142.38 million, almost doubling last year's tally. ETI Tech Corporation's market capitalisation of over RM500 million has helped Chuah move up the list. The Business Development Director of Kulim-based ETI Tech Corporation is the co-founder of the company. He helped set it up in 2003, and is responsible for its overall business development and marketing functions.

Lee, who is the company's managing director, moves up to second spot with a wealth of RM130.09 million. ETI Tech Corporation has attracted Middle East investment via Emirates Investment and Development or Emivest. Last September, the firm acquired a 15% stake in the local company, and this may provide the opportunity for ETI Tech Corporation to tap into the lucrative Middle East market.

Coming in third is Rexit Bhd's Chung Hon Cheong. The CEO of the shared services company moves up from sixth last year with a total of RM114.12 million. Rexit has been making news lately with its agreement to provide its flagship insurance solution, e-Cover to Sompo Japan Insurance Inc, the second largest non-life insurer in Japan. Chung has led Rexit for the last six years, and it now counts 11 of 36 insurers locally, who have a combined market share of over 70%.

Life sciences duo

The head honcos of Stemlife Bhd and TMC Life Sciences Bhd make the Mesdaq Top 10 for the first time. The life sciences companies have benefited from increasing awareness of health issues and treatments locally, and investor interest certainly reflects this. Dr Colin Lee Soon Soo, founder and MD of TMC Life Sciences comes into the Top 10 at number 5, with a total wealth of over RM74 million. The company's flagship hospital, the Tropicana Medical Centre is scheduled to be ready this year, and it was reported that the company, famous for its fertility centres, is planning to go into the wellness market.

The only woman to make the Top 10 so far is Lim Oi Wah, executive director of Stemlife. She makes the list at 7th with over RM72 million. Starting off in a stockbroking firm, Lim co-founded Stemlife which listed on Mesdaq in 2006. The stem cell storage and therapy provider is expanding within the country and to other markets.

Express and aquaculture

Teong Teck Lean, executive deputy chairman and CEO of GD Express Carrier Bhd and Datuk Lo Fui Ming, MD and CEO of Borneo Aqua Harvest Bhd also make the list for the first time. Teong is the highest new entry at number 4, with over RM96 million. He started his career as an engineer in 1984, and then joined the stockbroking industry in 1990. It was during this time that he developed the skills needed to run a company, and got his opportunity to put them to the test at the start of the new millennium when he acquired a controlling stake in GD Express Sdn Bhd. The express delivery company listed on Mesdaq in 2005, and Teong is credited with steering the company to success. In its financial year end June 30 2007, GD Express Carrier saw an over 25% increase in turnover, with RM2.1 million net profit. The company also started operations in Singapore recently.

Borneo Aqua Harvest is the only aquaculture company to make the list, and the Sabah-based company listed on Mesdaq in 2005. Lo had his own logging company and ventured into the plantation industry in 1995. At the helm of Borneo Aqua Harvest, he is responsible for overseeing the overall business operations and development, and with nearly three decades of experience, he is the driving force behind the company. Lo makes the cut at 6th, with nearly RM74 million wealth.

Frontken Corporation Bhd's Executive Chairman/MD, Wong Hua Choon also makes the list for the first time this year, with a wealth of RM71.40 million. Frontken Corporation's co-founder, Wong has over 17 years experience in surface technology. The company last year entered into an agreement with US-based Cincinnati Thermal Spray to utilise each other's technology.

Rounding up the list is MY E.G. Services Bhd, an online service provider for e-government services. Executive Director Raja Munir Shah Raja Mustapha and MD Wong Thean Soon come in at 9 and 10 respectively. Raja Munir Shah was elected to head the Tanjong UMNO Youth Division in 1997, and was also appointed State UMNO Youth Information Chief until his tenure ended four years ago. He has also served as a Councillor in the Penang Island Municipal Council.

MY E.G Services co-founder Wong completes a decade in the IT industry this year, and has been instrumental in steering the company since it was founded in 2000.

Who's out

Apart from the personalities at the helm of Mesdaq companies that have since transferred to the Main Board, a few personalities do not make the cut this year. David Ho Sue San of Carotech Bhd and K-One Technology Bhd's Edwin Lim Beng Fook do not make the list due to the new entries who have raised the bar this year. Datuk Ahmad Kabeer Nagoor, who was fifth two years running, just misses the cut this year. His total wealth halved from last year's RM117.65 million. It has been a challenging time for the tycoon, whose companies have seen declining market capitalisation compared to the same period last year. MEMS Technology Bhd had a market capitalisation of RM353.2 million on Jan 19 last year, but this year, it stood at RM111.5 million. AKN Messaging Technology Bhd, the first mobile content and application developer to list on Mesdaq in 2003, recently posted a Group net loss of over RM4 million for its financial year ended June 30, 2007. However, the company is planning to bounce back with a wider range of offerings, and has recently been rebranded as M3 Technologies (Asia) Bhd. His other interests include AKN Technology Bhd and a stake in Scicom (MSC) Bhd.

As with previous years, the method of tabulating wealth is unchanged. Paper wealth is quantified according to share prices at the cut off date, and the amount of shares held by each personality according to publicly available data. However, there is no clear way of identifying and deducting personal debts from the calculated values.

Copyright 2008
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.

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