Malaysia’s YTL Cement looks to expand in China and Vietnam

Malaysia’s YTL Cement looks to expand in China and Vietnam
Published: 07 November 2007

YTL Cement Bhd is looking at expanding in countries like China and Vietnam.

Managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh said the company was in talks with potential parties in Vietnam but it was still too early to announce anything.

“The group already has a presence in Vietnam. We are already providing power services in the country and hope to strengthen our presence in that country.

“A lot of Vietnamese companies have expressed interest to work with us,” he told StarBiz after the company EGM yesterday.

At the EGM, shareholders approved the company’s proposal to raise up to US$200m (about RM700m) by issuing five-year bonds which would be exchangeable for new YTL Cement shares.

Yeoh hoped the negotiations between YTL Cement and its potential partners in Vietnam would be finalised “as soon as possible”, adding that the group was very upbeat on its prospects in Vietnam.

He believes that there are significant and viable investment opportunities, both locally and internationally, particularly in the Asia region.

Apart from South-East Asia, the group is also exploring opportunities in the Middle East and Indochina.

YTL Cement had earlier entered into a contract with various parties to purchase the entire equity interest in Zhejiang Lin’an Jin Yuan Cement Co Ltd for 150 million renminbi cash.

Yeoh did not rule out further mergers and acquisitions of other cement companies. 

“We have to see how it fits into our business strategy and future business plan .

“Our directors are not sleeping. They are always in talks with somebody and we are always looking for strategic alliances everywhere,” he said but declined to elaborate.

“We believe the opportunity to grow is now. That is why we are raising such a big amount of money.

“We will not be raising this amount of money if we do not have plans. We must be thinking of quite sizeable opportunities for future investments and projects,” Yeoh said.

He said the company was pleased its shareholders approved its proposals so “we can put more strategies in place to enhance our presence in Asia to grow much faster.”

To a question, Yeoh said Asia would be the biggest market for YTL group in the immediate future.

“Asian economies react very fast to any situation. Even if there is a crisis, Asian economies will be the first to come out of it because they react prudently and have very strong, positive policies,” he added.