Category: Enterprise

VinaCapital and partners to open US$4 billion Vietnam casino project in 2019

Vietnam-based real estate management firm VinaCapital and its Hong Kong and Macau JV partners have set a timeline for the long-delayed US$4 billion tourism and leisure project Nam Hoi An.

The integrated tourism and leisure destination casino resort is now re-branded as Hoiana, occupying four kilometers of beachfront just outside the UNESCO World Heritage site Hoi An in Quang Nam province.

The project is expected to launch its first phase in Q1, 2019.

Hoiana’s first phase will feature a resort and casino complex including a 445-room hotel, 220 residential apartments for sale on a buy-to-let basis operated by Hong Kong’s New World Hotels.

Besides, the project also includes an extra-luxury Rosewood resort offering 75 guests villas and 25 exclusive residences, as well as a golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones II.

Hoiana will also comprise a beach club, a hall to host entertainment activities and events, a watersports and diving center, retail promenade as well as a range of new bars and restaurants as it is completed.

VinaCapital acquired the project in 2007 and forged an alliance with Malaysia’s Genting Berhad to develop the township. However, the Malaysian partner soon exited the project in 2012, leaving VinaCapital to scout for new investors

Last year, the Vietnam firm diluted its holding in the mixed-use development as it announced a partnership with Hong Kong Gold Yield Enterprises, a subsidiary of diversified group Chow Tai Fook and Macau-based junket operator Suncity Group.

“Hoiana is poised to become Asia’s most renowned resort destinations, and a new benchmark for high-end tourism in Vietnam,” reportedly said Don Lam, CEO of VinaCapital.

“For enterprises, it’s the land of golden opportunity,” he added, referring to the tourism attractiveness of the central city Hoi An, where the project is located.

The developers also plan further investment for the US$ 4 billion township in the next construction phases, which are due to be completed over the course of the next 10 to 15 years.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

Indonesia-based reinsurer Marein to raise US$41 rights issue in 2017

Maskapai Reinsurance Indonesia (Marein), one of only four local reinsurance companies in the country, has made plans to raise US$41 million from a rights offering in 2017.

The company said it will sell up to 130 million new shares in a right issue by June 2017 in order to strengthen its existing capital.

Reinsurers provide insurance for other insurance companies, Marein along with Reasuransi Indonesia Utama, Reasuransi Nasional Indonesia, and Tugu Reasuransi Indonesia are the only four local reinsurance companies in Indonesia.

Local firms often lack capital compared to their larger foreign reinsurance peers, forcing Indonesian insurance firms to seek coverage for big insurance policies abroad.

However, when local insurance firms pay for premium overseas coverage, it will complicate government efforts to balance the country’s current account.

Hence, Financial Services Authority (OJK) has requested the four reinsurers, Marein and its rivals to increase their capacity to cover more clients.

“In order to increase the capacity, we have to raise capital,” said Marein president director Robby Loho to Jakarta Globe.

“The company is expected to reap IDR 1.5 trillion in premium income this year, with an increment of 40 percent from last year’s IND 1.07 trillion”, said Yanto J. Wibisono, Marein’s finance director.

Besides, the premium income at Marein has also reached IDR 907 billion in the first nine months this year, increasing by 29 percent from the same period in 2015. This was driven by a double-digit growth in life and general reinsurance segments this year.
Fitch Ratings, one of the big three credit rating agencies affirmed Marein’s national insurer financial strength with an A+, as well as its international IFS rating of BB back in August.

Fitch said that the rating reflects Marein’s high business concentration in catastrophe-prone Indonesia, its modest market position, and despite its long operating record, small asset size compared with some of its local and regional peers.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media.

Singapore unicorn Garena in talks for US$1 billion IPO listing in the US

Garena Interactive Holding Ltd., a Singapore-based internet and mobile platform company as well as Southeast Asia’s largest unicorn, is reportedly tapping the US stock market for its initial public offering (IPO) that may raise around US$1 billion.

The unicorn, privately valued at US$3.75 billion, was in talks with several banks in Singapore this week discussing the IPO which could commence in 2018, according to sources close to Wall Street Journal.

It is also reported that these investment banks were invited to Singapore for IPO discussion by Garena’s backers – Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd.

Also, Garena’s preferences of listing destination lie in the big Apple, New York as due to the reason that the United States has the most listed numbers of internet companies which will provide the required resources and networks.

However, final details on a listing venue and the total amount of funds to be raised has not been decided.

Founded in 2008 by Forrest Li, Garena first started out as an online gaming company. Since then, the startup has grown to become Southeast Asia’s largest Web and mobile platform, with users spreading across countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

At present, the company offers interactive digital content, eSports, e-commerce and online payment products and services, operating a payment system called AirPay, and a social commerce app called Shopee.

Garena has also said in a statement that it has achieved compound annual growth of more than 95 percent over the past five years to over US$300 million in gross revenue in 2015.

In March 2016, Garena has announced a US$170 million Series D investment led by Malaysia’s state investment fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd. An additional undisclosed investment was also conducted in September that involved SeaTown Holdings International, a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings.

With its IPO plan on the move, earlier investors in Garena are expected to realise their investment in the firm. Other backers include the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, one of Canada’s biggest pension funds, and private-equity firm General Atlantic LLC.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

EVISU buys back rights to China retail and franchise at US$40 million

Japanese premium denim brand EVISU has recently made a US$40 million buy-back of its China retailing and franchising rights.

The transaction was carried out by the parent company, EVISU Group Limited with the support of Hong Kong-based Cassia Investments, a consumer-focused PE fund.

Both companies have reinvested a consumer-focused private equity fund, to buy back the interest from EVISU’s joint venture partner in China, New Elegant Trading (Shanghai) Co. Ltd which is financially supported by IDG Capital Partners.

David Pun, chairman and chief executive officer of EVISU Group Limited, will remain the majority shareholder.

“The company made concerted efforts with its China joint venture partner over the past few years to establish brand awareness and secure a footing in China,” explains David.

Sixteen years through EVISU’s franchise partnership with New Elegant Trading has successfully forged a brand awareness in China.

“We think this is an ideal time for the company to integrate its regional China business with headquarters to pursuit the brand’s global objectives in the coming years,” he adds.

Hence, EVISU will now be actively seeking global business expansion by forging distribution partnerships for the U.S. and Europe markets.

The brand will step up product extensions like EVISUKURO, the latest athleisure collection, and maintain product exclusivity through focused management of wholesale distributors.

Founded in 1991 in Japan, EVISU has become a high-end lifestyle brand, offering a range of products which include jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, knitwear, and glasses for both genders.

Some of the brand’s most iconic denim collections include the series with tattoo-designed graphics. Products of EVISU are sold online at and in more than 150 stores located in 14 countries which include Australia, China, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, and the United States.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

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Global Brain launches US$175 million sixth fund

Japanese venture capital fund Global Brain Corporation has officially launched its sixth fund, its founder and CEO Yasuhiko Yurimoto announced at the firm’s annual Alliance Forum on December 8.

Founded in 2001, the corpus of Global Brain’s first and second fund totaled only at US$17.5 million. This latest fund is the sixth which is valued at US$175 million and has a first close at US$ 130 million, with the final close expected by June 2017.

This latest fund has been financed by more than 10 companies and academic institutions, including travel agency JTB, Mitsui Sumitomo Banking, Sumitomo Forestry, Information Services International-Dentsu, and the public-private entity Cool Japan Fund.

With the closed US$175 million VC fund, Global Brain will be targeting investments in startup ventures of various industries, including sectors such as the internet of things (IoT), hardware, enterprise, robotics, education, and e-commerce solutions.

The fund will aim to invest in a portfolio between 70 to 80 companies over a period of 10 years, with ticket size ranging from 200 million yen (about US$1.7 million) to 1 billion yen (US$ 8.67 million) each.

The fund is also focused on investing in ventures that can strengthen Japanese tourism in the 2017-2019 period, given the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

“With the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics happening in 2020, Japan is in a time of change. We want to create an ecosystem that links this progress to a future beyond the Olympics,” Yurimoto said, emphasising an interest in ventures that could solve Japan’s societal and economic issues.

The future also includes a strong international focus, with Global Brain planning to deploy its capital in the startup ecosystems of Japan, Silicon Valley, South Korea, Southeast Asia, and Israel.

Southeast Asia, in particular, represents strong growth prospects for this fund, given the prevailing growth narrative of economies in the region.

This is a goal shared by its primary limited partners: the Cool Japan Fund, travel service conglomerate JTB, and mega-bank Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC).

With the closed US$175 million fund, this will bring the VC’s total funding raised to US$375 million, with its capital spread across 51 investments in 43 companies.

The firm’s portfolio list include Raksul – Japan’s own printing startup, Near – India’s location-based advertising venture, and Mercari – a used-goods application.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

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