The Board of Directors of Guoco Group ("the Company" or "the Group") is pleased to announce the unaudited consolidated net profit of the Group, after taxation and minority interests, for the six months ended 31st December, 2000 together with comparative figures for the corresponding period last year as follows:
Consolidated Profit and Loss Account
Six months ended 31st December 2000 1999 (unaudited) (unaudited) Change Note HK$'000 HK$'000 % Turnover 2 & 3 6,166,555 5,203,913 +18.5 Cost of property sales (477,665) (325,960) Interest expenses of banking operations (3,269,843) (2,663,604) Other attributable costs (77,392) (68,615) --------- --------- 2,341,655 2,145,734 Other revenue 8,220 8,634 Other net income/(loss) 85,612 (102,708) Administrative expenses (951,538) (875,980) Other operating expenses (15,255) (13,770) Provisions for bad and doubtful loans and advances for banking operations (159,424) (183,143) --------- --------- Operating profit before finance cost 1,309,270 978,767 Finance cost for non-banking operations (233,767) (183,019) --------- --------- Operating profit 2 1,075,503 795,748 +35.2 Provision for diminution in value of development properties - (98,053) Net profit on disposal of investment properties - 276,961 Net loss on disposal of fixed assets (694) (30,939) --------- --------- Operating profit on ordinary activities 1,074,809 943,717 Share of profits less losses of associates 164,533 86,784 Share of profits less losses of jointly controlled entities 22,493 11,012 --------- --------- Profit from ordinary activities before taxation 1,261,835 1,041,513 Taxation 4 (271,554) (232,469) --------- --------- Profit from ordinary activities 990,281 809,044 Minority interests (347,168) (339,296) --------- --------- Profit attributable to shareholders 643,113 469,748 +36.9 Appropriation: Dividends (85,326) (63,995) --------- --------- Retained profit for the period 557,787 405,753 ========= ========= Earnings per share Basic 5 HK$1.51 HK$1.10 +37.3 ========= ========= Diluted 5 HK$1.49 HK$1.09 ========= =========
Consolidated Balance Sheet
At 31st December At 30th June 2000 2000 (unaudited) (audited) HK$'000 HK$'000 NON-CURRENT ASSETS Investment properties 1,374,579 1,371,953 Fixed assets 4,996,309 5,101,071 Interest in associates 4,104,137 4,064,706 Interest in jointly controlled entities 75,848 37,590 Held-to-maturity securities and investment securities 681,444 682,418 ------------ ------------ 11,232,317 11,257,738 ............ ............ CURRENT ASSETS Development properties 6,121,733 6,258,648 Properties held for resale 790,516 792,685 Advances to customers less provisions 66,956,452 65,337,118 Other assets 3,026,710 2,856,100 Held-to-maturity securities and investment securities 25,141,350 25,360,048 Other investments in securities 3,255,454 2,838,162 Certificates of deposit held 134,428 588,420 Placements with banks and other financial institutions 12,657,364 10,654,757 Cash and short term funds 38,266,388 32,271,967 ------------ ------------ 156,350,395 146,957,905 ............ ............ CURRENT LIABILITIES Other payables and provisions 18,126,408 14,647,208 Current portion of bank loans and other borrowings 3,617,768 2,154,583 Insurance funds 22,360 21,266 Deposits and balances of other banks and other financial institutions 3,328,455 4,415,028 Current, fixed, savings and other deposits of customers 105,985,280 101,515,792 Certificates of deposit issued 8,342,998 7,060,751 Taxation 414,023 342,222 Proposed dividend 85,326 234,645 ------------ ------------ 139,922,618 130,391,495 ............ ............ Net current assets 16,427,777 16,566,410 ------------ ------------ TOTAL ASSETS LESS CURRENT LIABILITIES 27,660,094 27,824,148 ............ ............ NON-CURRENT LIABILITIES Non-current portion of bank loans and other borrowings 9,402,659 10,257,514 Deferred taxation 25,730 15,801 ------------ ------------ 9,428,389 10,273,315 ............ ............ Minority interests 6,425,436 6,200,603 ~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ NET ASSETS 11,806,269 11,350,230 ============ ============ CAPITAL AND RESERVES Share capital 1,663,705 1,662,905 Reserves 10,142,564 9,687,325 ------------ ----------- 11,806,269 11,350,230 ============ ============
1. Accounting policies
The interim financial report has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Main Board Listing Rules of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, including compliance with Statement of Standard Accounting Practice 2.125 "Interim financial reporting" issued by the Hong Kong Society of Accountants.
The same accounting policies adopted in the 1999/2000 annual accounts have been applied to the interim financial report.
2. Segmental information
The analysis of the principal activities and geographical location of the operations of the Company and its subsidiaries during the financial period are as follows:
Group turnover Operating profit/(loss) Six months ended Six months ended 31st December 31st December 2000 1999 2000 1999 (unaudited) (unaudited) (unaudited) (unaudited) HK$'000 HK$'000 HK$'000 HK$'000 Treasury and investment management 124,218 56,102 124,773 (116,199) Property development and investment 548,334 399,789 74,476 60,478 Stockbroking 51,124 53,258 19,857 25,358 Insurance 78,118 73,783 3,455 20,082 --------- --------- --------- --------- 801,794 582,932 222,561 (10,281) Less: Finance cost for non-banking operations (233,767) (183,019) --------- --------- (11,206) (193,300) Banking and financing 5,364,761 4,620,981 1,086,709 989,048 --------- --------- --------- --------- 6,166,555 5,203,913 1,075,503 795,748 ========= ========= ========= =========
Geographical locations of operations
Group turnover Six months ended 31st December 2000 1999 (unaudited) (unaudited) Hong Kong 85% 88% Asia (excluding Hong Kong) 13% 11% Others 2% 1% ---------- ---------- 100% 100% ========== ==========
An analysis of the amount of each significant category of revenue recognised in turnover during the period is as follows:
Six months ended 31st December 2000 1999 (unaudited) (unaudited) HK$'000 HK$'000 Interest income from banking operations 4,839,045 4,159,789 Interest income from non-banking operations 30,760 25,436 Income from sale of investments in securities 73,235 24,814 Securities commission, brokerage and other income 51,124 53,258 Gross insurance premiums 78,118 73,783 Income from sale of properties 476,277 313,976 Rental income from properties 72,057 85,813 Other income from banking operations 525,716 461,192 Dividend income from listed securities 20,223 5,852 ---------- ---------- 6,166,555 5,203,913 ========== ==========
Six months ended 31st December 2000 1999 (unaudited) (unaudited) HK$'000 HK$'000 Hong Kong taxation 162,497 169,660 Overseas taxation 15,068 42,222 Deferred taxation 9,913 (24,923) ---------- ---------- 187,478 186,959 Share of associates' taxation 79,950 43,536 Share of jointly controlled entities' taxation 4,126 1,974 ---------- ---------- 271,554 232,469 ========== ==========
The provision for Hong Kong profits tax is calculated by applying the estimated annual effective tax rate of 16% (1999: 16%) to the profits for the six months ended 31st December, 2000. Taxation for overseas subsidiaries is similarly calculated using the estimated annual effective rates of taxation that would be applicable to the relevant countries.
5. Earnings per share
(a) Basic earnings per share
The calculation of basic earnings per share is based on the profit attributable to shareholders of HK$643,113,000 (1999: HK$469,748,000) and on the 426,631,086 shares (1999: 426,631,086 shares) in issue during the period.
(b) Diluted earnings per share
The calculation of diluted earnings per share is based on the profit attributable to shareholders of HK$636,213,000 (1999: HK$463,263,000) and the weighted average number of 426,631,086 shares (1999: 426,892,180 shares) in issue during the period after adjusting for the effect of all dilutive potential ordinary shares.
6. Hong Kong dollar amounts
The accounts of the Company are maintained in United States dollars. The accounting figures shown above have been translated from United States dollars into Hong Kong dollar equivalents at the rates ruling at the respective financial period ends for presentation purposes only (2000: US$1:HK$7.79925; 1999: US$1:HK$7.7715).
7. Comparative figures
Certain comparative figures relating to the consolidated profit and loss account for the six months ended 31st December, 1999 have been reclassified to conform with the current period's presentation.
The unaudited consolidated profit attributable to shareholders of the Group for the six months ended 31st December, 2000 is HK$643 million, which represents an increase of 37% over the corresponding period last year. Basic earnings per share grew 37.3% to HK$1.51. Consolidated shareholders' funds have also expanded to HK$11.8 billion, representing an increase of 4% over the last financial year end of 30th June, 2000.
REVIEW OF OPERATIONS
Dao Heng Bank Group Limited ("DHBG") - 71.3% owned by the Group
The unaudited profit attributable to shareholders of DHBG for the six months ended 31st December, 2000 is HK$945 million, which represents an increase of 18% comparing with the corresponding period last year. Earnings per share are HK$1.36.
As at 31st December, 2000, total deposits were HK$118.2 billion, reflecting a growth rate of 4.3% compared with the previous financial year. Total loans grew 2.5% to HK$67.0 billion with the modest result attributed to low transaction volumes in the property market combined with continued slack credit demand from the business sector. DHBG's loans to deposits ratio of 56.7% and loans to assets ratio of 44.3% continue to remain at very conservative levels, providing ample opportunity for growth when loan demand picks up.
Shareholders' funds increased 5.4% to HK$13.2 billion with Dao Heng Bank Limited's consolidated capital adequacy ratio at a 22.8% (of which the Tier 1 ratio was 18.4%). DHBG continued to exhibit a highly liquid balance sheet, with 50.8% of total assets held in the form of government securities, interbank placements, and negotiable securities. The average liquidity ratio of Dao Heng Bank Limited for the period was 52.4%.
The past six months has seen continued expansion of DHBG's consumer banking franchise, through both the acquisition of new customers as well as the introduction of numerous new product offerings. The key thrust is to expand Dao Heng's share of its customers' total financial needs, thereby improving profitability by providing value-added products and services to its customers.
A key instrument to differentiate Dao Heng from its competitors is its advanced Customer Relationship Management System ("CRM"). By using the CRM, DHBG is able to develop an intimate understanding of its customers' financial needs and preferences, allowing it to segment its customers into a wide array of different tiers, each designed to suit that segment's needs. This effort will be particularly important in the year 2001, as DHBG prepares itself for the final phase of deposit deregulation in Hong Kong.
Among the new products launched in DHBG's Personal Banking Division, particular emphasis is being directed to Wealth Management products and services. Yield-enhanced Deposits, Monthly Savings Plan, and sale of third party mutual funds are prominent among the new investment alternatives now being offered to DHBG's customers. In addition, for Premier Banking customers, Dao Heng has introduced a Personal Portfolio Planning Model which assists its Investment Consultants to discuss with customers their preferences for asset allocation based on their personal risk profile. This is the beginning of a concerted effort to penetrate the increasingly important area of Wealth Management, which converts relatively lower value-added deposits into higher value-added investment products, reflecting the changing paradigm of consumer banking which no longer looks solely at on-balance sheet products when evaluating customer relationships and profitability.
Dao Heng Card has exhibited another outstanding performance during the first half of the financial year. All of its key measurements, including cards-in-force, accounts receivable, merchant sales, cardholder spending and profitability, have been growing at a double-digit annualized growth rates. Further new products have been launched including Private Label Cards and Business Cards for the SME sector, as well as Platinum Cards for DHBG's high net-worth customers.
Mortgage Banking Division continues to refine its efficiency and solidify its position as one of the top five mortgage originators in the Hong Kong market. DHBG's state of the art Call Centre, DaoHeng Direct, has excelled in its penetration of the personal line insurance market, with particular emphasis on selling policies to consumers for home-related purposes including our innovative Domestic Helper Insurance policy. Excellent results have been achieved in both Travel and Accident policies. Building upon this experience, DHBG's newly established wholly-owned subsidiary, Dao Heng Assurance Limited will commence operations and gradually introduce a range of bancassurance products beginning in the second quarter of the year 2001.
Demand for business banking related products and services is still sluggish, due to the extended recession and its aftermath. Within this context, progress has been made in introducing various new products and programs to penetrate the market, particularly the SME segment. Another major advance for our Commercial Banking is the launch of the first phase of our B2B program. DHBG will soon be offering cash management services over the web, as well as a bills inquiry service capability for trade finance transactions. These features will be expanded into a broader range of trade finance capabilities later this year.
Dao Heng Markets continues to be one of the major players in the domestic capital market, consistently ranking in the top ten participants for the debt capital markets in Hong Kong. In certain sub-markets, such as market making in exchange fund bills and notes and other quasi-government instruments, Dao Heng ranks in the top two or three in terms of market turnover. The first half year also saw the introduction of bond trading over the internet, as well as further penetration of sales of its yield-enhanced deposits and bonds to retail customers.
First Capital Corporation Ltd ("FCC") - 54.3% owned by the Group
For the six months ended 31st December, 2000, FCC reported a profit after tax and minority interests of S$29.6 million, a decrease of 40% as compared to the previous corresponding period of S$49.2 million, which included a non-recurring profit of S$63.7 million from the sale of Century Square Development Ltd.
FCC currently has four launched developments on the market: Aquarius By The Park, Sanctuary Green, The Gardens at Bishan and The Ladyhill (in which FCC has a 40% interest). The first phase of The Gardens at Bishan and the final phase of Aquarius By The Park were launched during the financial period under review. As at 16th March, 2001, FCC has achieved sales of 82% in Aquarius By The Park, 59% in Sanctuary Green and 14% in The Gardens at Bishan on units offered for sale. Depending on market demand, FCC may launch additional units in The Gardens at Bishan and Sanctuary Green for sale. Although buying sentiment in the upgraders' market was subdued, sales in the high-end residential property market were encouraging. This was evidenced by the sell-out of offered units in The Ladyhill during its soft launch in September last year. Unlike the weaker sentiment in the residential property market, the office sector enjoyed healthy demand. FCC's commercial properties, Tung Centre and Robinson Centre, are enjoying 100% occupancy.
FCC did not acquire any development sites during the period under review. FCC's current land bank is approximately 1.7 million sq.ft. FCC's fund management division reported a small trading profit of S$0.2 million which is lower than the last corresponding period due to a much weaker stock market.
FCC's associates, turned in a profit before tax of S$34.2 million substantially contributed by Benchmark Group.
imGO Limited ("imGO") - 17.6% owned by the Group and 6.6% by FCC
imGO reported a consolidated net profit after taxation of HK$58 million.
In line with its expansion into the wireless sector, imGO has leased an office unit at Exchange Square, Hong Kong, as its new headquarters. imGO has recruited a Chief Executive Officer and is actively identifying investment opportunities in the Asian wireless sector, including greater China, Japan, Korea and Singapore. imGO announced on 5th February, 2001 the closing of a US$10 million dollar funding round with imGO as lead investor in iSilk, a visionary developer of Natural Language Processing and Artificial Intelligence software applications for wireless and other internet platforms.
As previously reported, imGO has the option ("Put Option") during the period from 30th May, 2001 to 29th November, 2001 to require the Company to purchase all (but not part) of imGO's interest in the shares in each of the property owning companies at an aggregate consideration of about HK$606 million. The properties subject to this Put Option are located at The Center, Wu Chung House and the Overseas Trust Bank Building in Hong Kong.
Guoco Properties Limited ("GPL") - 55% owned by the Group and 45% by FCC
GPL has a 75% interest in Corporate Square, a 17-storey office development in Beijing, PRC.
Approximately 14% of the office space in Corporate Square had been sold and about 64% of the office areas had been leased out.
Management of GPL continues to market the remaining office space for sale at prevailing market prices. Negotiations with a potential buyer primarily for the East Core of Corporate Square with a total area of approximately 36,000 sq.m. are in progress.
Guoco Holdings (Philippines), Inc. ("GHPI") - 36.6% owned by the Group
GHPI reported a consolidated net loss of Peso1.022 billion during the first six months of financial year 2000/2001. During this period, GHPI continued to make progress in its key strategies of divesting non-core and non-profitable assets to reduce debt and restructuring loans to improve financial position.
Assets involved in the divestment exercise included 24% equity interest in Zeus Holdings Inc., 40% interest in Dao Heng Bank Inc. and the Homelands Residential Development Project in Calamba Laguna.
In addition, convertible loan notes amounting to approximately Peso800 million with a five-year maturity were also issued in December 2000 to retire an existing bank loan.
As for Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. ("PCPPI"), strict discipline is being instilled to actively manage its operations in a defined/restricted resource environment to seek optimal use of its existing assets and capital expenditure. PCPPI will continue to focus on cost saving programs to reduce fixed and variable costs and critically review and rationalise capital expenditure to ensure that they conform to desired levels of return. The debt levels of PCPPI are to be prudently managed to enable it to sustain with resilience and to manage growth and resource deployment within the financial capability and constraints of PCPPI.
Hong Leong Credit Berhad ("HLC") - 20.9% owned by the Group
The Malaysian economy continues to show an improving trend of recovery with an annual GDP growth of about 8% expected for 2000 whilst some moderation will likely be seen in 2001 due to the anticipated slowing down in the United States. The HLC Group reported a group profit before tax of RM304.2 million which is an improvement of 5% compared to the corresponding period in previous year.
The banking and finance division benefited from a recovery in consumer confidence and from its strategic marketing moves to focus on the small and medium enterprises and selected retail segments. Gross loans and customer deposits for Hong Leong Bank Group recorded growth during the period. Profitability of the bank had also improved due to better interest margins, lower interest suspension and a move to non-interest related income.
The property division managed to turn around from loss in last financial year to current period profit. The construction and property development activities of Hong Leong Property Berhad, which are currently involved in major projects in Malaysia managed to maintain its profitability. The property investment division enjoyed occupancy rates above 80% for its properties.
The insurance division recorded a profit for the current period. Combined gross premium for life and general insurance recorded a marginal increase as compared to corresponding period for previous financial year.
As a result of bearish market with substantial fall in the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange trading volume for the past six months, HLG Capital Group ("HLG"), the Stockbroking Division, recorded a marginal loss for the period ended 31st December, 2000. Moving forward, HLG plans to acquire a 100% stake in Borneo Securities which operates in Sarawak. This move would enable the company to increase its market share and expand its customer base. The cost of such investment is approximately RM30 million.
For the remaining second half of the current financial year, the operations of the HLC Group particularly its banking and finance division are expected to show improving profit trends barring any major adverse conditions.
Other Financial Services
During the period under review, Dao Heng Securities Limited ("DHS") continued to earn steady brokerage and interest income from its stock brokerage, share margin and corporate finance businesses. DHS has made significant investment in IT related projects and was one of the first group of stock brokerages houses to launch AMS3, the third generation Automated Matching System, the new securities trading platform maintained by the Stock Exchange.
Despite the unfavourable market conditions, Dao Heng Insurance Limited ("DHI") has achieved encouraging progress in the personal line business including the domestic helper and travel insurance. DHI has partnered with Dao Heng Bank's mortgage banking division for its insurance direct business which provides a cost effective and efficient marketing and distribution channel to meet the needs of customers.
During the period under review, Dao Heng Fund Management Limited ("DHFM") collaborated closely with DHBG to build the infrastructure and platform including the establishment of an IVR supported Call Centre so as to provide quality service to customers for the Mandatory Provident Fund Scheme ("MPF"). Addressing the Wealth Management needs of the Group's customers, DHFM has successfully launched third party funds which compliment the existing Dao Heng Unit Trust. The "Dao Heng Monthly Savings Plan" marketing plan was well received and generates a stable and regular inflow of new accounts.
The Group has made significant investment in information technology, virtually all of DHBG's and the Group's other financial services companies' products and services now rely on a sophisticated and interlinked platform of IT programs and systems. The Group has been active in developing its MIS related systems, particularly the CRM and peripheral statistical and behavioural modules, which are helping in our effort to segment our product offerings. A special focus is also centered on developing our profitability measurement systems for customers, products, channels and business units.
A tremendous amount of effort and investment is likewise being expended in the area of e-banking and e-commerce, with a thorough revamp of our website currently underway and numerous new products and services being offered and promoted over the web. These efforts combined with our mobile phone financial services, are keeping DHBG at the forefront of technology in the banking. This leading position was recently acknowledged by the Asian Banker Journal, which named Dao Heng Bank's ec-banking platform as one of the top ten retail internet banking sites in Asia and Dao Heng Securities ranked numbered two for on-line share trading.
Overall turnover increased by HK$963 million or 18.5% mainly due to increase in turnover of the banking and finance sectors of HK$744 million. Turnover for the property development and investment sector and treasury and investment management activities also increased by HK$149 million and HK$68 million respectively.
During the period, the Group maintained total borrowings of HK$13 billion. As at 31st December, 2000, unsecured indebtedness comprised approximately 69% of the total borrowings.
The Group's bank loans, overdrafts and other borrowings were repayable as follows:
Bank loans Other borrowings Total HK$'000 HK$'000 HK$'000 On demand or within 1 year 1,510,699 2,107,069 3,617,768 ........... ........... ........... After 1 year but within 2 years 3,555,538 900,860 4,456,398 After 2 year but within 5 years 2,297,737 608,084 2,905,821 After 5 years - 2,040,440 2,040,440 ----------- ----------- ----------- 5,853,275 3,549,384 9,402,659 ~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~ 7,363,974 5,656,453 13,020,427 =========== =========== ===========
The loans are secured by the following:
- legal mortgages on investment properties with a book value of HK$366 million;
- legal mortgages on development properties with a book value of HK$5,964 million; and
- certain equity investments with total carrying value of HK$1,416 million.
As at 31st December, 2000, the Group had outstanding capital commitments as follows:
HK$'000 Authorised and contracted for 84,957 Authorised but not contracted for 37,047 ---------- 122,004 ==========
These commitments primarily represented capital expenditure for branch renovation and IT equipment of banking subsidiaries and amounts relating to the Group's share of capital commitments of a jointly controlled entity.
Capital and Finance
The Group's consolidated shareholders' funds as at 31st December, 2000, after reflecting the current period retained profits and adjusting for the major items set up below amounted to HK$11,806 million, representing a net asset value of HK$27.7 per share.
The major adjustments are as follows:
- revaluation surplus for investment properties of an associate of HK$44 million;
- realisation of investment property revaluation reserve on disposal of investment properties by an associate of HK$39 million; and
- exchange losses on translation of net investments in subsidiaries and associates of HK$117 million.
Dao Heng Bank Limited's consolidated capital adequacy ratio as at 31st December, 2000 was 22.8% of which Tier I ratio was 18.4%.
HUMAN RESOURCES AND TRAINING
The Group, including its subsidiaries in Hong Kong and overseas, employed approximately 3,600 employees as at 31st December, 2000. The Group continued to follow a measured approach towards the size of its workforce and is committed to provide its staff with ongoing development programmes.
The remuneration policy for the Group's employees is reviewed by management on a regular basis. Remuneration packages are structured to take into account the level and composition of pay and general market conditions in the respective countries and businesses in which the Group operates. Bonus and other merit payments are linked to the financial performance of the Group and individual performance as incentives to optimise performance. In addition, share options have been granted to certain eligible directors and employees of the Group in accordance with the terms of the approved share option schemes adopted by the Group.
The Group's core markets of Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia have recovered at different pace and amplitude after the Asian financial crisis. The implications of a hard landing versus a soft landing of a US correction needs to be fully considered in the management of those group businesses which are particularly reliant upon the US markets. The Group will continue to focus on strengthening its core financial services businesses as a major thrust of the Group going forward with particular emphasis on cost efficient universal banking. With the strengthened position of our financial services operations, the Group is on the right track for further growth.
The Directors have declared an interim dividend of HK$0.20 per share amounting to HK$85,326,000 (1999/2000 interim dividend: HK$0.15 per share amounting to HK$63,995,000) for the financial year ending 30th June, 2001 which will be payable on 17th April, 2001 to the shareholders whose names appear on the Register of Members on 12th April, 2001.
PURCHASE, SALE OR REDEMPTION OF THE COMPANY'S LISTED SHARES
During the period, neither the Company nor any of its subsidiaries had purchased, sold or redeemed any of the Company's listed shares.
COMPLIANCE WITH CODE OF BEST PRACTICE
None of the Directors of the Company is aware of information which would reasonably indicate that the Company was not in compliance with the Code of Best Practice, as adopted by the Company, at any time during the six months ended 31st December, 2000.
The information in this interim results is unaudited and does not constitute statutory accounts.
CLOSURE OF REGISTER OF MEMBERS
The Register of Members will be closed from 9th April, 2001 to 12th April, 2001, both days inclusive, during which period no transfer of shares can be effected.
In order to qualify for the above dividend, all share transfers accompanied by the requisite share certificates must be lodged with the Company's Branch Share Registrars in Hong Kong, Central Registration Hong Kong Limited, at 17th Floor, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen's Road East, Hong Kong, for registration not later than 4:00 p.m. on 6th April, 2001.
By order of the Board
Doris W.N. Wong
Hong Kong, 16th March, 2001
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