Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - JSM Indochina down $US20 million

JSM Indochina down $US20 million

JSM Indochina down $US20 million

TROUBLED Cambodia-Vietnam investment property fund JSM Indochina reported a US$20.7 million net loss for the half-year to June 30, more than double its loss of $9.2 million for the same period last year.

The company had almost no revenue for the first six months, receiving only $263,485 from rental income, according to a report filed with the London Stock Exchange late last week.

Its expenses included $7.6 million in fees to managers, consultants and directors, and a $7.1 “impairment loss” of cash pledged with banks, according to the interim statement.

The London AIM-listed company is currently selling nine properties across Cambodia and Vietnam. The report said JSM shareholders voted on April 27 to change the company’s investing policy to “an orderly realisation of the company's portfolio over the medium term with a view to maximising returns for shareholders”.

JSM appointed real estate services firm CBRE to sell the properties last week.

The Cambodian properties to be sold – four in Phnom Penh and one in Siem Reap – are at various stages of investment and construction, according to JSM chairman Scott Verges.
Verges said in the report that JSM has written off a total of $4.6 million since setting up its Siem Reap site and two of its Phnom Penh projects – the Embassy Centre and a property on the Tonle Sap river.
All three have licensing approvals and extensive development pending. Meanwhile the company has also canned its $2.5 million refurbishment plans for Colonial Mansion I, the 44 serviced apartments and retail store space near Wat Phnom in Phnom Penh.

The CBRE-mananged property has struggled in the rental market, hit by low occupancy rates and lower rental charges, the report said. Rental levels were expected to be “adversely affected” for the rest of the year by the ongoing construction work on nearby Colonial Mansion II and Vattanac Tower.
It said that completion of the refurbishment of its 63 serviced apartments, Colonial Mansion II, has been pushed out to “early fourth quarter” 2010.
Remaining costs amount to $3.6 million, Verges said.
The firm’s share price dropped to a 52-week low of US$0.41 when the report was released. Stock value has fallen 30 percent in the past 12 months, during which it also had a complete board and high-level management change.
However, while seeing losses soar, the filing also stated that “based on the external valuations, the portfolio has shown growth when compared to the original cost of acquisition”.
The total value of the company’s assets fell to $84.7 million at June 30, from $91.4 million at December 31 2009, but the drop in value stemmed from losses on two pipeline projects in Vietnam. Officials from both JSM and CBRE did not respond to emailed requests for further comment.

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