Wednesday, June 03, 2009

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Ananda's MEGA telco-broadcaster (Maxis+Astro) Vs UMNO's Media Prima-Telekom

Yes, as written by BK, this piece of news is also not entirely new. It has been floating around the market place for a long time and the winds are blowing again.

It could be for some (sinister) reasons to have this news to circulate. It is a fact that all our media and telcos owned by UMNO and cronies as well as GLCs (Telekom - Celcom).

If Ananda's Maxis merges with Ananda's Astro, it is something not impossible. The combined asset worth would be RM20 billions. Bigger than some states. Even as per now, Maxis makes millions out of Astro's stupid Akademi Fantasia.

Not sure whether Media Prima would make its move....could be partnering with Telekom or buying another telco? Media Prima is the only RTM's competitor with 4 TV channels but as with Telekom has no pay TV and satellite.

However, MEASAT is also owned by Ananda.....

Will we see a mega telco-broadcaster soon?

Comment by B.K. Sidhu


IS a merger between Maxis Communications Bhd and Astro All Asia Networks plc – possible or the news is merely speculation to drive up the stock price of the pay-TV company?

This piece of news is also not entirely new. It has been floating around the market place for a long time and the winds are blowing again.

Astro yesterday said they “do not comment on market speculation”.

Maxis in a statement added that its board was not aware of any such proposal and considers the report by OSK Research as “totally without basis and to be speculative”.

Yesterday, OSK Research wrote in its report that a major corporate exercise may be brewing and the pitch may be for a re-listing of Maxis via Astro.

OSK could not confirm the merger plans when it wrote the report.

If indeed the merger plan is true, OSK says it will create a company with combined revenue and net profit of RM11bil and RM2.2bil (based on FY09 for Astro and historical numbers for Maxis).

This would make it the largest listed telco quadruple play exposure in the country with a mobile and pay-TV subscriber base exceeding 11 million and 2.6 million respectively, and an estimated asset base of over RM20bil.

Regardless of what the two companies said, at a glance if indeed the news is true, it looks good as it will see the creation of a mega telco/broadcaster that can pit against Singapore’s StarHub and SingTel.

Both the Singapore companies have “embraced the quad play strategy with a combination of the cellular, broadband, fixed-line and pay-tv businesses’’ while the telcos here are still scrambling to be close to that.

One aspirant is Telekom Malaysia Bhd which wants to enter the broadcasting world when its high speed broadband network is up and running and if it does get its strategy right, it can be a keen competitor to Astro pay-TV.

Quad play is all about cross selling of products and services across multiple platforms and being able to bundle services to retain customers.

Maxis has a fixed line licence and a vast cellular network, amongst other things. Astro has a satellite TV network and when combined these two can really be a big player offering telephony and video content via multiple platforms.

The fight of the future is for customer’s loyalty and those companies who can provide what the consumer wants will get to retain them.

But timing wise, some experts do not think it is a good time to merge as the valuations would be low. But knowing how low profile business tycoon T. Ananda Krishnan (who is common shareholder of Astro and Maxis) - works, he never fails to amaze people when they least expect it. He did surprise the market place with the swift de-listing of Maxis in 2007.

It is an interesting concept if it is true, but let’s wait and see what Ananda has up his sleeves this time around, or does he not!

Malaysia is 26th SAFEST in the World..safer than Britain, UAE and 118 other countries

Global Peace Index - World Map


Britain was 35th: better than last year, and one position higher than Italy, but still below most of Europe and countries as diverse as Botswana, South Korea, Malaysia and Qatar.

Peace index ranks New Zealand the safest country in the world

Britain up slightly to 35th position, US up six places to 83rd while Iraq sits at the bottom of the list

The world's most peaceful countries (pdf)

On top of the many humiliations that have rained down on Iceland recently – the implosion of its economy, banks and currency to name just three – the erstwhile Viking tiger today lost its title as the safest place in the world.

New Zealand is now officially your best bet for a risk-free destination, according to the new Global Peace Index (GPI), an annual ranking of the world's nations on the basis of how peaceful they are.

Despite the much-vaunted progress on security, Iraq remained bottom of the list, below Afghanistan, Somalia and Israel, which found itself listed as more dangerous than Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the top, the usual Nordic suspects clustered below New Zealand: Denmark, Norway and Iceland came second, third and fourth, followed by Austria and then Sweden.

Britain was 35th: better than last year, and one position higher than Italy, but still below most of Europe and countries as diverse as Botswana, South Korea, Malaysia and Qatar.

The United States has clawed its way up six places to 83rd – still weighed down by two foreign wars, a high prison population and the general availability of guns. Its slight rise was attributed to the number of years since 9/11 that the country has avoided a terrorist attack, and the relative decline of other countries.

The index was collated by the Economist Intelligence Unit for a new thinktank called the Institute for Economics and Peace. It uses a weighted mix of 23 criteria, including foreign wars, internal conflicts, respect for human rights, the number of murders, the number of people in jail, the arms trade, and degrees of democracy.

This year's results found the economic downturn had made the world a little less peaceful. That, say the authors, "appears to reflect the intensification of violent conflict in some countries and the effects of both the rapidly rising food and fuel prices early in 2008 and the dramatic global economic downturn in the final quarter of the year.

"Rapidly rising unemployment, pay freezes and falls in the value of house prices, savings and pensions is causing popular resentment in many countries, with political repercussions that have been registered by the GPI through various indicators measuring safety and security in society."

The results come from a groundbreaking study, released alongside the 2009 GPI, which estimates the economic impact of lost peace on the global economy at $7.2tn (£4.4tn) a year.

Of this, $4.8tn is made up of business activities that never see the light of day because of violence; a further $2.4tn relates to the redeployment of resources and expenditure away from industries benefiting from violence to those that benefit from peace.

"The reality is that the net economic benefit of peace to humanity is substantial, and governments and businesses should seriously consider how adopting practices and policies that promote peace helps their bottom line," said Clyde ­McConaghy, who oversees the index at the institute. "It is this kind of thinking that the Institute for Economics and Peace will promote."

When Employees Are Forbidden to Sit Down, Walk at Normal Pace

While driving smoothly (Dubai is already less congested...downturn...) to work this morning, I tuned to Radio 2 and heard the DJ saying something about Canon office has no chairs as part of productivity drive and improving staff relationship!

By January 2010, we have to move again to a brand new office, hopefully, we may not be in this kind of office environment!

You might think your job sucks, but at least your boss wasn't insane enough to remove all the chairs and install security so an alarm goes off if you don't walk fast enough.

The president of Canon Electronics, Hisashi Sakamaki, is also the author of a book proposing some of the same measures he takes with his own company. His theory is that forcing employees to stand not only saves money but increases productivity and enhances employee relationships.

In the hallway, if an employee walks slower than 5 meters every 3.6 seconds, an alarm and flashing lights are set off, reminding the poor startled worker that he's an inefficient waste of air. Even better (or worse), there's a sign on the floor in said hallways that reads, "Let's rush: If we don't, the company and world will perish." The big boss, as a reward for thinking up all this stuff, gets to lounge in a nice, relaxing chair