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Raffles Infrastructure eyes smart city projects with new shareholder

WATCH-LISTED Raffles Infrastructure Holdings and its new substantial shareholder, South Korea-listed Magic Micro Co, will explore potential partnerships in infrastructure and smart city projects in the global market.

Both companies have signed a memorandum of understanding for their financial and technological cooperation in infrastructure investment opportunities, according to Raffles Infrastructure’s bourse filing on Thursday.

Eric Choo, chief executive officer of Raffles Infrastructure, said: “This is the beginning of our synergistic partnership (with Magic Micro). We are looking to tap into Magic Micro’s technological expertise and network for future projects.”

The collaboration is part of the Singapore-based company’s long-term strategy of investing in Asia’s infrastructure, Mr Choo added.

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Citing a March 2019 report by UBS, Raffles Infrastructure noted that the global addressable market for smart city projects is expected to surge to US$2 trillion in 2025 from US$900 billion in 2016, with Asia to account for 40 per cent of the pie.

Last month, Magic Micro took a 20.3 per cent stake in the company formerly known as China Fibretech, acquiring 13.8 million shares for S$6.9 million in an off-market deal at S$0.50 per share.

This makes the South Korean electronics components firm the second largest shareholder in Raffles Infrastructure, after state-owned enterprise China Capital Investment (Group).

Magic Micro specialises in LED-related materials, serving anchor clients such as Samsung. It has invested in optical semiconductor technology, 5G communications, biosensors, artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud data such as blockchain storage.

Separately, earlier this week, Raffles Infrastructure appointed Ng Pei Eng as its chief financial officer, effective Oct 1. Ms Ng, 46, holds an ACCA Level III qualification and a fellow membership with the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants.

In August, Raffles Infrastructure said KPMG had completed its special audit on the company and submitted its findings to the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the audit committee pertaining to the alleged compensation claims made by three customers in 2017. The company said then it was seeking legal advice and would consult with SGX's regulatory arm on the remedial actions.

Irregularities at Raffles Infrastructure and potential breaches in listing rules had been highlighted in an interim independent review report published by KPMG Forensic earlier in August.