Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Time Engineering keeps mum on TdC divestment plans

KUALA LUMPUR: ICT and e-commerce solution provider TIME ENGINEERING BHD [] (TEB) is keeping a tight lid on a purported plan to divest its 28.69% stake or 726.18 million shares in former subsidiary TIME DOTCOM BHD [] (TdC) to repay its debt obligations to Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd.

"We can't talk of divesting our interest in Time dotCom because all the shares have been pledged to Bank Pembangunan (to secure redeemable secured loan stocks). So if we are doing anything, we have to be very careful," said its chairman Datuk Mohd Khalil Mohd Noor at the company's AGM here on Tuesday, June 22.

The company's debt obligations to the bank amounted to RM347.36 million, according to its 2009 annual report, which had been restructured by pledging its stake in TdC to secure loan facilities of RM348.56 million and lifting its PN17 status as a result.

According to an earlier report in The Edge in late March, TEB's CEO Steven Lim Kee Seng said the divestment process was still ongoing.

Lim said TEB had identified three key areas of its business to drive its targeted 15% annual revenue growth in the long term, following the company's remodelling of its core businesses into cyber security, intelligent integrated infrastructure as well as content development and aggregation.

TEB was keen to work with small-medium enterprises (SME) to develop and aggregate content, especially in the area of education, he added.

Lim said at present, the company had RM20 million worth of contracts in hand and was confident of securing a number of local and foreign jobs.

According to Lim, its current foreign markets are Myanmar, Vietnam and Senegal, which contribute 30% of its total revenue.

TEB had in January signed a deal with Laos-based Datacom Co Ltd to provide data security for the country's central bank valued at between US$7 million and US$10 million (RM22.4 million and RM32 million).

It was also eyeing Indochina and Indonesia as potential markets, given their potential as growth markets, said Lim. TEB is 40%-owned by UEM Group Bhd, which in turn, is a unit of national investment holding arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd.

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