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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Stock Roundup: Nexbis struggles, but Intercon gets bigger

Stock Roundup: Nexbis struggles, but Intercon gets bigger

Raffles Education Corp clarifies conversations with Thai officials over regulatory compliance

Nexbis Ltd’s woes continued to deepen last week with a Friday announcement that its tender to be the system integration provider for the Vietnam Road Safety project had failed.

While the company told the Australian Stock Exchange the US$1.5 million system integration project was “not a significant project in terms of forecast revenue contribution”, Nexbis was punished with a 22 percent drop in its share price on Friday to close at AU$0.078, just shy of its 52-week low of $0.07.

The tender was filed on September 1 last year and involved providing hardware and maintenance to Vietnam’s vehicle registration department.

The ICT vendor has seen share prices fall week on week after its tardy confirmation to the market on May 19 of a deal signed with the Cambodian government on May 10. The share price has since fallen 40 percent.

Meanwhile, InterContinental Hotels Group has its eye on expansion in Asia.

The company, which has a hotel in Phnom Penh, broke ground on its first hotel in the Tibetan region last week with the 1.5 billion yuan (US$220 million), 2,000-room building – expected to be one of the largest hotels in Greater China – slated for a soft opening in May 2012.

Shareholders warmed to the the InterContinental Resort Lhasa Paradise, with the company’s share price increasing 2.98 percent on June 3, the day of the announcement. However, shareholders weren’t so keen on a new hotel in New York.

The June 3 gain was lost the following day when the company announced its Hotel Indigo brand would open a second location in New York’s upmarket Manhattan district. The company lost 3.77 percent on June 4 to close at ?10.99 (US$15.88).

Education provider Raffles Education Corp took on the teacher role last week to correct a June 3 story in the Straits Times, and subsequent media reports, about the status of its Thai operating licence.

The Straits Times reported Thailand’s Higher Education Commission (HEC) secretary general Sumeth Yamoon as saying the Raffles Design Institute Bangkok (RBK) had been told to stop operating last November, that it was unregistered because its proposals did not fit the HEC’s regulations, and that the HEC was taking action.

Raffles, which also operates a wholly owned subsidiary in Cambodia, confirmed in a statement to the Singapore stock exchange that it was in a “dialogue” with the HEC, but not the legal tangle the news story suggested.

Raffles said the dialogue related to RBK complying with space requirements for a university licence to conduct the “top-up” degree program. RBK had ceased recruiting top-up students in November 2009, when the HEC informed the school it did not meet the Thai government’s requirements – namely, the space and recreational facilities requirements.

RBK said the search for the land was under way, but the fact that it could not recruit the desired students had “no material impact” on the group, which operates 36 colleges in 13 Asia-Pacific countries.

Raffles closed last week 1.5 percent lower than its June 3 closing price at S$0.32 (US$0.22).



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