Follow us on Twitter Find us on Facebook

YTL CORPORATION

YTL SUSTAINABILITY

UTILITIES
YTL POWER INT.

CONSTRUCTION
YTL CONSTRUCTION

MANUFACTURING
YTL CEMENT

PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT
YTL LAND & DEV.

REIT
YTL HOSPITALITY REIT
STARHILL GLOBAL REIT

TECHNOLOGY
YTL E-SOLUTIONS

COMMUNICATIONS
YTL COMMS.
YTL BROADBAND

EDUCATION
YTL FOUNDATION
FROGASIA
FROG EDUCATION LIMITED

TRANSPORTATION
EXPRESS RAIL LINK

CARBON CONSULTING
YTL-SV CARBON

ENTERTAINMENT
KL PAC

RESTAURANTS
LOT 10 HUTONG
FEAST VILLAGE
SHOOK! SHANGHAI

SHOPPING
L0T 10 SHOPPING CENTRE
STARHILL GALLERY
WISMA ATRIA
NGEE ANN CITY
RENHE SPRING ZONGBEI
DAVID JONES
MYER CENTRE ADELAIDE
PLAZA ARCADE

HOTELS & RESORTS
YTL HOTELS

ADVOCACY PROJECTS
YTL CCW
EARTH HOUR

REWARDS
YTL PLATINUM PLUS


YTL most admired for long-term vision

   

The Wall Street Journal Asia, 18 October 2006

?

Asia’s 200 Most Admired Companies - Malaysia

?

Maxis and DiGi.Com, nimble and well run, attract foreign investors

?

By Cris Prystay

?

On the eve of the January Chinese New Year holiday, Ronnie Rabindranath, a customer-service officer at Maxis Communications Bhd., got a frantic call from a customer who had lost his phone and was en route to catch a flight to Singapore. The customer was in a complete panic at the prospect of being unreachable over the long weekend. Mr. Rabindranath understood: he grabbed a replacement SIM card, jumped on a light-rapid transit train and met him at the airport train station, a 20-minute journey.

?

That level of customer service is one reason why Maxis, which began operations in 1995, is now Malaysia's biggest mobile-phone company by subscribers. Investors like Maxis as much as consumers do. The company, controlled by Malaysian tycoon Ananda Krishnan, is widely viewed as one of Malaysia's most transparent, best-run companies — notable qualities in a country where many of the biggest listed companies are government-controlled, and decisions are sometimes driven as much by political and social-development concerns as core business fundamentals. Maxis' market capitalization has soared more than 70% to $5.95 billion since it was listed in 2002.

?

Climbing the charts


   

Its solid reputation has propelled Maxis steadily up the ranks of the Asia 200 survey. Readers this year rated Maxis as Malaysia's top corporate leader, up from second place in 2004 and seventh-place in 2000. Public Bank Bhd., which has alternated between second and third place for the last six years, placed second in the survey this year, missing No.1 by a tiny margin.

 

Maxis' rival mobile-phone company, DiGi.Com Bhd., meanwhile, shot up the ranks to the No.3 spot from eighth in 2004 and 24th in 2003. Both Maxis and DiGi.Com are favorites of foreign investors; they're seen as players in a hot growth industry with regional potential.

 

The rise of nimble, well-run telecom companies like Maxis and DiGi.Com reflect the great changes that have taken place in Malaysia's corporate and political landscape since the survey started in 1993.

 

For more than two decades, Malaysian business was synonymous with political patronage, opaque deal-making and big-ticket mega projects. In October 2003, Mahathir Mohammad stepped down as prime minister and handed the reigns to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Six months later, Mr. Abdullah won the country's biggest electoral mandate on a platform of transparency, good governance and reform of Malaysia's ponderous state-owned companies. While critics charge that Mr. Abdullah is moving slowly on those reforms, investors are still more positive on Malaysia than they have been for years.

 

The shift of some companies' rankings in the survey shows, in part, that old-world connections are out and transparent, competitive corporate strategy is in. Tenaga Nasional, the national power company, plummeted to No. 32 from ninth place in 1993. Tenaga is one of the companies Mr. Abdullah's government would like to clean up; issues ranging from managers' pay to procurement, long a highly opaque process, are targeted for reform.

 

Proton, the state-controlled automotive company — which dominates the local car market thanks to protective tariffs — came in last this year from No.3 in 1993. Proton was a key part of Mr. Mahathir's bid to foster heavy industry in Malaysia. Proton will lose many of its privileges as tariffs drop over the next few years under an automotive pact signed by the Association of Southeast Asian nations. Likewise, Edaran Otomobil Nasional, or EON, which long had a virtual monopoly on distributing Proton cars, has sagged to the bottom of the list from No. 7 in 1993.


   

The top company this year, Maxis, is part of a stable of companies controlled by the low-profile Mr. Krishnan, who graduated with an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1964. He also controls pay-TV operator Astro All Asia Network PLC — which ranked 14th in the survey — as well as satellite and communications company Measat Global Bhd., which owns three satellites and has plans to launch a third. He also has interests in entertainment, oil, power, shipping, property and gaming.

 

Not content with dominating Malaysia's fast-growing mobile market, Maxis has begun to transform itself into a regional telecom company. Maxis bought a 51% stake in Indonesian cellular company Natrindo Telepon Seluler PT for $100 million in 2005, and in January teamed up with an Indian partner to take over Aircel Ltd., a dominant carrier in South India, for $1.08 billion. Maxis own a 74% stake. It is now bidding for a mobile operator's license in Sri Lanka.

 

Maxis CEO Jamaludin Ibrahim said the company intends for its international subsidiaries to "contribute substantially" to group revenue by 2010. "We see regional expansion as a major source of long-term value creation for our shareholders," Mr. Jamaludin said.

 

Still, regional expansion has proved a sometimes-rocky road. The company's Indonesian venture is taking longer than expected to break even. Plans to relaunch the Indonesian unit's phone service have been postponed from the middle of 2006 to the end of the year.

 

"Regulatory matters such as licensing — including 3G spectrum in Indonesia — are ongoing issues. In addition, network rollout in Indonesia, like in Malaysia, is also challenging, given the lengthy approval process," Mr. Jamaludin said. "While these challenges have caused some delay, our long-term plan remains on track."

 

Growth is slowing

 

The growth rate of Malaysia's mobile market, meanwhile, is starting to slow and tough competition has pushed down margins. That, along with the company's Indonesian woes, is one reason why Maxis came in 11th in the category of financial soundness. By contrast, it ranked first in having high-quality products, second in innovativeness in responding to customers, and fourth in both reputation and management vision.

 

The company's regional investments will payoff eventually, analysts say, and provide a wider springboard for growth.

 

One of the companies nipping at Maxis' heels in the domestic Malaysian market is DiGi.Com, which has surged up the rankings over the last few years to grab the third spot overall and the first spot for innovativeness in responding to customers.

 

DiGi.Com, the country's third-largest mobile-phone company in terms of subscribers, is seen as the hip, young upstart. It caters to young consumers with a slew of prepaid cards and funky new products and services, like BubbleTalk, a technology that allows customers to record and send "talking" text messages. So it isn't a surprise that readers ranked it first.

 

DiGi's customer base grew 44% to 5.4 million in the second quarter from a year earlier. Rival Maxis, meanwhile, grew its Malaysian customer by just 3% to nearly 8.5 million. Norway's Telenor ASA owns 6.5% of DiGi.

 

DiGi has reinvested most of its fast-growing profit into network infrastructure. The company spent 700 million ringgit in 2005 expanding its networks, and expects to spend an additional 720 million ringgit this year.

 

In addition to ranking Public Bank No.2 over all, readers rated it No.1 for financial soundness and for reputation. In fact, it was the only Malaysian company to make the top five list in every attribute. "This is the best-run bank in Malaysia," said Mr. Ong, at Hwang DBS Vickers. "They've got fantastic management."

 

In February, Public Bank bought Hong Kong's Asia Commercial Bank for HK$4.5 billion ($578 million), a move that will provide it a springboard into China. Asia Commercial Bank, which has since been renamed Public Bank Hong Kong, has 12 branches in Hong Kong, another in Shenzhen, and representative offices in Shenyang and Shanghai.

 

Back home in Malaysia, meanwhile, the bank has grown its loan business by 20% per year, on average, for the last four years; the average for the industry in Malaysia is just 7% to 8%, says Mr. Ong.

 

Other Malaysian standards continue to do well in the survey. Conglomerate YTL Corp. ranked fourth this year; it also placed first for long-term vision. YTL, which is controlled by Francis Yeoh, son of the company's founder, has chalked up a compounded annual growth rate in pretax profits of 55% over the last 15 years.



Back
  23 October 2017
5:20:51 PM
Yeoh family donates RM8mil to charity  
 
  24 October 2017
11:37:12 AM
【杨忠礼逝世】3千人出席缅怀  
 
  24 October 2017
11:28:44 AM
达官显要各界好友吊唁 逾千人送别杨忠礼  
 
  23 October 2017
3:25:05 PM
Yeoh Tiong Lay laid to rest; 1,000 mourners attend funeral  
 
  23 October 2017
3:14:46 PM
YTL’s family members donate RM8m to 50 organisations, schools and associations in memory of late founder  
 
  23 October 2017
10:48:03 AM
YTL founder Yeoh Tiong Lay laid to rest  
 
  23 October 2017
10:43:47 AM
Final journey for YTL Corp founder Yeoh Tiong Lay  
 
  24 October 2017
1:01:34 PM
【杨忠礼逝世】 杨忠礼对金门有贡献 朱俶贤:受当地人敬佩  
 
  21 October 2017
11:31:40 AM
'Dad was quiet, humble yet had true grit'  
 
  23 October 2017
2:48:18 PM
Official statement by Puan Sri Tan Kai Yong  
 
 
 

Contact Us | Newsletter | Career | Privacy Policy
Twitter | Facebook
 
Terms, Conditions and Disclaimers
Copyright © 2001 - 2017 All rights reserved.
Powered by YTL e-Solutions Bhd.