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Existing Franchisee Acquires 120 Unit Kentucky Fried Chicken Portfolio from Yum Brands, Inc.

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DALLAS /PRNewswire/ — Mitra QSR KNE, LLC (Mitra) and its capital partner, Chalak Growth Capital Fund, LLC (Chalak), recently closed on a large acquisition of KFC/Taco Bell units in the Northeast part of the United States for an undisclosed amount. The transaction includes 78 KFC units, 39 KFC/Taco Bell co-branded units, and 3 KFC/Long John Silver’s co-branded units. The 120 unit transaction spreads across 6 states (Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New Jersey). The Mitra team is led by Co-CEOs, Pushpak and Manish Patel. The Chalak team is headed by the principals of The Chalak Group, Inc., who in addition to being the private equity capital source behind the transaction, are also owners and operators of the 100 unit chain, Genghis Grill-The Mongolian Stir Fry, and the regional fast casual chain, Baker Bros-American Deli. The principles of Mitra and Chalak are also partners together in 33 additional KFC/Taco Bell units in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois. This transaction will make Mitra one of the largest KFC franchisees in the system.
“Being one of the biggest divestures that KFC Corporation has ever undertaken, this was a very complex transaction between Yum Brands, Inc.’s M&A division, KFC Corporation, Taco Bell Corporation, Wells Fargo and Mitra. It was however, extremely amazing how all of the teams came together to make this transaction a reality,” says Manish Patel, Co-CEO of Mitra. “We are excited about the prospects of this portfolio and incorporating all 3,000+ team members into our culture and organization,” he says.
“Mitra has proven to be one of our strongest partners in the portfolio of companies we are involved in. Manish and Pushpak are strategic thinkers that have the clear aptitude to pull off an acquisition of this size. We see a continued bright future for both The Chalak Group and the Mitra team,” says Al Bhakta, Chief Executive Officer of The Chalak Group, Inc.
The transaction finalized in Mid-August and the transition has been underway since. Mitra retained all of the employees from a unit level standpoint and above store level standpoint. There are two corporate offices, one based in Dallas and a regional office for support services based in the Northeast.
“Becky Brown and her entire team at Wells Fargo exceeded our expectations as they guided us through the process,” said Pushpak Patel, Co-CEO of Mitra. “Each member of the Haynes and Boone legal team as well as the folks at Metropolitan Capital Advisors all played a pivotal role in closing this deal.”
Haynes and Boone, LLP represented Mitra on the transaction as their counsel, Metropolitan Capital Advisors served as the Investment Banking firm and Wells Fargo Restaurant Finance provided the Debt behind the transaction.
MEDIA CONTACT
Chiara Granado
The Chalak Group
214-382-0049
info@chalakgroup.com
ABOUT THE CHALAK GROUP
The Chalak Group, Inc. consists of a group of young dynamic entrepreneurs that own and operate multiple restaurant brands. In addition to owning and operating restaurant concepts, the group raises their own private equity capital for strategic growth and acquisition initiatives. Since the formation of the Chalak team in 1998, the group has raised close to $50 million in equity from private placements. The Chalak Group has a strong history of generating positive returns for their investors. The group currently owns and operates 260 restaurants and has investments in various hotel projects. The restaurants are Genghis Grill-The Mongolian Stir Fry which is a 100 unit chain based in Dallas, the 14 unit Baker Bros-American Del chain, a full service craft cocktail/scratch cooking concept called Pepper Smash, franchise partner with Mitra QSR in 150+ KFC/Taco Bell units in 12 states. For more information, visit http://www.thechalakgroup.com.
ABOUT MITRA QSR
Mitra, which means “friend, partner, and alliance”, stands as the underlying philosophy of the company. The Mitra team is led by Co-CEOs, Pushpak Patel and Manish Patel. In 2009, Mitra opened its first KFC/Taco Bell unit in Anna, TX and established themselves as strong operators in the YUM Brands system. An opportunity presented itself to buy out an existing franchisee with 32 units in the 4 states of Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma (Midwest). Over the last 2 years, Mitra has been able to successfully turn a declining Midwest market into a financially and operationally healthy market. Mitra prides itself on operational excellence, strong financial controls, and more importantly on building and providing opportunities to our #1 asset, OUR PEOPLE.
ABOUT WELLS FARGO RESTAURANT FINANCE
Wells Fargo Restaurant Finance division provides financial services to corporate restaurant brands, large multi-unit restaurant franchisees, commercial real estate investors who own restaurant properties, private equity firms, and other investors in restaurant concepts.
ABOUT METROPOLITAN CAPITAL ADVISORS
Since 1992, Metropolitan Capital Advisors has closed in excess of $8 billion of debt and equity transactions on behalf of a multitude of commercial property owners, developers and investors. National Real Estate Investor ranked Metropolitan Capital Advisors No. 20 on its Annual Top Financial Intermediaries list. Metropolitan Capital Advisors’ staff has expertise and capabilities in a vast array of debt and equity services, including construction and permanent debt, structured finance, and portfolio transactions. MCA Senior Director Sunny Sajnani advised Mitra and The Chalak Group throughout the transaction.
ABOUT HAYNES AND BOONE, LLP Haynes and Boone, LLP is an international corporate law firm with offices in Texas, New York, California, Washington, D.C., Mexico City and Moscow, providing a full spectrum of legal services. With more than 525 attorneys, Haynes and Boone is ranked among the largest law firms in the nation by The National Law Journal and has been named a “Top Corporate Law Firm in America” (Corporate Board Member Magazine, 2001-2012).
Source: The Chalak Group

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November 8, 2012 at 11:01 am

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China Cord Blood Corporation Continues Share Repurchase Program

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HONG KONG /PRNewswire/ — China Cord Blood Corporation (NYSE:CO) (“CCBC” or the “Company”), the first and largest cord blood banking operator in China, today announced that the Company repurchased an aggregate of 6,041,980 ordinary shares for a total consideration of approximately $16.4 million since April 1, 2012. The total number of shares issued and outstanding as of the date hereof is 73,140,147, with 6,041,980 shares being held as treasury shares. On July 31, 2012, the Company adopted a new $20 million share repurchase mandate, as the prior $15 million share repurchase mandate expired. Under the existing mandate, which will expire on July 31, 2013, the Company has approximately $12.6 million available for repurchase.
About China Cord Blood Corporation
China Cord Blood Corporation is the first and largest cord blood banking operator in China in terms of geographical coverage and the only cord blood banking operator with multiple licenses. Under current PRC government regulations, only one licensed cord blood banking operator is permitted to operate in each licensed region and only seven licenses have been authorized as of today. China Cord Blood Corporation provides cord blood collection, laboratory testing, hematopoietic stem cell processing and stem cell storage services. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.chinacordbloodcorp.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements relate to future events or the Company’s future financial performance. The Company has attempted to identify forward-looking statements by terminology including “anticipates”, “believes”, “expects”, “can”, “continue”, “could”, “estimates”, “intends”, “may”, “plans”, “potential”, “predict”, “should” or “will” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. These statements are only predictions, uncertainties and other factors may cause the Company’s actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The information in this press release is not intended to project future performance of the Company. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, the Company does not guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. The Company expectations are as of the date this press release is issued, and the Company does not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date this press release is issued to confirm these statements to actual results, unless required by law.
For more information, please contact:
China Cord Blood Corporation
Investor Relations Department
Tel: (+852) 3605-8180
Email: ir@chinacordbloodcorp.com
ICR, Inc.
Mr. Rob Koepp
Tel: (+86) 10-6583-7516 (China) or (646) 405-5185 (U.S.)
Email: robert.koepp@icrinc.com
Source: China Cord Blood Corporation

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October 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm

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The Night for Charity and Excellence in Thailand — UBM Asia (Thailand) Pledged Itself to Both

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HONG KONG /PRNewswire/ — UBM Asia (Thailand) donated THB100,000 (US$3,250) in the Dinner Talk & Charity Night hosted by Exhibition Department of Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok on 25 September 2012.

Nucharin Paradeevisut (first from left in the front row), General Manager of UBM Asia (Thailand) joined the exhibition industry at TCEB Charity Night

Nucharin Paradeevisut, General Manager of UBM Asia (Thailand) with the two awards

TCEB is a public organisation established by Royal Decree in Thailand. Aimed to provide a platform that encourages knowledge exchange and networking for the exhibition industry gearing toward the commencement of ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 while doing good deeds to the Thai society, this special event has attracted over 300 industry stakeholders. A total donation of THB1,635,000 (US$53,250) collected from the industry people will be used to purchase artificial legs for the Prostheses Foundation of the H.R.H. the Princess Mother.
At the event, TCEB also held an award presentation to the winning contestants of “Believe in Thailand; the Next Best Shows” and “Better the Best” campaign, TCEB’s exhibition subsidy initiatives that are designed to help raise the competitiveness of overall domestic trade shows. UBM Asia (Thailand) has won “Increase in Total Overseas Participants” for Food Ingredient Asia 2011 under “the Next Best Shows” and received Appreciation Token for Renewable Energy Asia as one of the four champion exhibitions under the “Better the Best”.
Notes to Editors
1. About UBM Asia (www.ubmasia.com)
Owned by UBM plc listed on the London Stock Exchange, UBM Asia operates in 19 market sectors with headquarters in Hong Kong and subsidiary companies across Asia, including UBM China in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Beijing. We have over 240 products including trade fairs, conferences, trade publications, B2B/B2C portals and virtual event services. As Asia’s leading exhibition organiser and the biggest commercial organiser in China, India and Malaysia, we stage the leading events of their kind across the region. Our 200 events, 24 publications and 16 vertical portals serve over 1,000,000 quality exhibitors, visitors, conference delegates, advertisers and subscribers from all over the world with high value face-to-face business-matching events, quality and instant market news and industry trends, and round-the-clock online trading networks and sourcing platforms. We have over 1,100 staff in 21 major cities across Asia, stretching from Japan to Turkey.
2. About UBM plc (www.ubm.com)
UBM plc is a leading global business media company. We inform markets and bring the world’s buyers and sellers together at events, online, in print and provide them with the information they need to do business successfully. Our 6,500 staff in more than 30 countries are organised into specialist teams which serve commercial and professional communities, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently.
For more information, go to http://www.ubm.com; follow us on Twitter at @UBM_plc to get the latest UBM news.
For press enquiries, please contact:
Jennifer Law, Director of Corporate Marketing & Communications, UBM Asia
Tel: +852-2516-1691
Fax: +852-3749-7342
Email: Jennifer.Law@ubm.com
Elsie Hui, Corporate Marketing & Communications Executive, UBM Asia
Tel: +852-2516-1679
Fax: +852-3749-7342
Email: Elsie.Hui@ubm.com
Source: UBM Asia

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October 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm

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Fashion Access Showcases Fashion Directions for Spring-Summer 2013

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HONG KONG /PRNewswire/ — Fashion Access, the leading international fashion fair for bags, footwear, small leathergoods, fashion accessories, travelware and lifestyle products, unveils the Spring-Summer 2013 collections of 363 exhibitors from 23 countries from 27-29 September at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).
It also marks the debut in Hong Kong of Cashmere World, a specialised trade fair featuring the best cashmere producers and luxury cashmere brands. Originally held in Beijing, Cashmere World now collocates with Fashion Access, sharing exhibition space in Hall 5F of HKCEC.
The fair is expected to draw in international and Chinese visitors through its many exciting events and offerings.
Not to be missed is the”Shoes from Italy” exhibition with 44 Italian footwear brands taking part. This special pavilion was organised under the auspices of ANCI, the Italian Footwear Manufacturers Association. They are joined by 10 Italian brands of bags and leathergoods who are members of AIMPES, the Italian Leathergoods Manufacturers Association. This impressive show of Italian quality and design is drawing a lot of interest from fair visitors, particularly high-end, luxury buyers of department stores and boutiques from all over China and the rest of Asia.
South Korea also has a strong delegation with 12 companies offering bags and shoes as well as fabrics. These exhibitors embody the spirit of Korean street fashion which has become strongly popular throughout Asia.
Other country (region) pavilions to look out for are those of mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan. These markets, with their innovative use of light, natural materials, are notably strong in developing collections for the spring-summer seasons.
Starting off Fashion Access’ seminar series is the trends presentation on the upcoming Fall-Winter 2013-14 Accessories Trends for Women, Men, Youth and Kids from Peclers Paris, presented by Hong Kong fashion maven Mary Yan Yan Chan of StyleCentral. This will be followed by the seminar on “How to Train Fashion Shop Assistants to Boost Sales” to be conducted by fashion consultant Jayne Esteve-Cure of Jayne FashionAgency, also from Paris. More fashion seminars are on tap for the last 2 days of the show, including one on the Design Directions for Women’s Accessories for Fall/Winter 2013-2014 to be headlined by Greer Hughes of trends agency Stylesight. There will also be a seminar on “Buying Accessories for the European Market” to be conducted by Sandrine Williamson, head accessories buyer of Galeries Lafayette Group, France.
Another fun event to make a beeline for is “Fashion With Compassion”, a charity fashion sale to be held alongside Fashion Access from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm on 28-29 September. “Fashion With Compassion” takes the pop-up fashion store concept to Room S421 where past season fashion merchandise and pre-owned or vintage items donated by sponsors, including Hong Kong and international celebrities, are to be sold for a cause. All sales proceeds will go to Crossroads Foundation, a Hong Kong-based non-profit, charity organisation. The charity fashion sale will be open to all visitors to Fashion Access and to the general public.
Notes to Editors
ABOUT APLF LTD. (www.aplf.com)
APLF Ltd. is a joint venture between UBM Asia and SIC Group. APLF organises leading trade exhibitions in Hong Kong, mainland China and India. It launched the Hong Kong Leather Fair 26 years ago – which is still the largest and most international sector event for all of Asia, and has expanded into the related fields of fashion and lifestyle products.
ABOUT UBM ASIA (www.ubmasia.com)
Owned by UBM plc listed on the London Stock Exchange, UBM Asia operates in 17 market sectors with headquarters in Hong Kong and subsidiary companies across Asia, including UBM China in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Beijing. We have over 200 products including trade fairs, conferences, trade publications, B2B/B2C portals and virtual event services. As Asia’s leading exhibition organiser and the biggest commercial organiser in the two fastest growing markets in Asia: China and India, we stage the leading events of their kind across Asia. Our 150 events, 34 publications and 14 vertical portals serve a 1,000,000 plus quality exhibitors, visitors, conference delegates, advertisers and subscribers from all over the world with high value face-to-face business-matching events, quality and instant news on market and industry trends and round-the-clock online trading networks and sourcing platforms. We have 1,000 staff in 21 major cities across Asia, stretching from Japan to Turkey.
ABOUT UBM PLC (www.ubm.com)
UBM plc is a leading global company. We inform markets and bring the world’s buyers and sellers together at events, online, in print and provide them with the information they need to do business successfully. We focus on serving professional commercial communities, from doctors to game developers, from journalists to jewellery traders, from farmers to pharmacists around the world. Our 6,000 staff in more than 30 countries are organised into specialist teams that serve these communities, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently.
For fair details, please contact:
Ms Perrine Ardouin, Event Director
Email: perrine.ardouin@ubm.com
For media inquiries, please contact:
Ms Gay Amistoso, Marketing Communications Manager
Email: gay.amistoso@ubm.com
Ms Sally Wong, Marketing Communications Executive
Email: sally.wong@ubm.com
APLF Limited
17/F China Resources Building
26 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: +852-2827-6211
Fax: +852-2827-7831
Source: APLF Limited

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September 28, 2012 at 11:05 am

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Mobile Apps Intrusion Protection Pioneer V-Key Inc. Secures US$4 Million Series A Funding

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Defining Next-Gen Mobile Apps Intrusion Detection, Protection and Intelligence Analytics
Technology Addresses Critical Enterprise Mobility Security Gap
SINGAPORE /PRNewswire/ — V-Key Inc., a pioneer and inventor of mobile applications intrusion protection and intelligence, today announced it has secured Series A funding of US$4 million from IPV Capital, a leading early growth venture capital fund based in China with global offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Silicon Valley.
The fund will be used to widen the startup’s research and development capabilities in mobile applications security and intelligence technology, as well as to expand V-Key’s global sales and support operations in the United States and Asia Pacific.
Mobile applications, with sensitive business-critical mobile transactions and data, hold the crown jewels of any enterprises and users. Custom targeted and automated attacks on mobile devices and applications are the fastest growing area of new attacks around the globe. V-Key’s V-Guard suite of technology is a revolutionary, next generation, comprehensive mobile apps security solution protecting the mobile applications sphere from threats of known and unknown application-level attacks. Through a unique combination of heuristic correlation algorithms, as well as a state of the art secure mobile virtual machine firewall wrapper, V-Guard is a secure, simple to use protection and intelligence suite.
Benjamin Mah, CEO and Co-founder of V-Key, said: “Traditional methods of managing mobile device security policies via trusting the native mobile operating system offers a basic level start. However, the world needs an advanced security protection and mobile threat analytics to address advanced persistence threats in the mobile apps landscape.”
“V-Key’s advanced detection, protection and intelligence at the mobile apps level is the next generation approach to defend against these advanced, rapid mobile threats, yet delivers the desired results of simplicity, reliability and scalability to mobile business applications. We have a strong pipeline of innovations and will leverage this round of funding to speed our commercial efforts and gain wider customer adoption,” Mah elaborated.
“We are attracted to V-Key because its offerings deliver solutions that address critical security challenges in the enterprise mobility sphere. The growing use of mobile devices at the enterprise and consumer levels form a sizeable market opportunity for advanced mobile apps security solutions. V-Key, with its market-defining technology and experienced executive management, is poised to create a paradigm shift in how organizations think about mobile security, and we are excited to be part of that,” said Terence Tan, Managing Partner at IPV Capital.
Eddie Chau, V-Key’s Chairman and Co-founder, said: “The funding from IPV Capital underscores V-Key’s technological vision and the ease of use of our security solutions suite. Demand for mobile app security, data and transaction assurance, and regulatory compliance products is growing faster than anyone has anticipated as organizations worldwide come to terms with the financial, legal, and business responsibilities for sensitive information and transaction data on the mobile devices. Our goal is to deliver a simple, yet powerful and intelligent security solution that improves users’ confidence and experience in today’s mobile apps-driven world.”
V-Key vis-a-vis the Enterprise Mobile Security Eco-system
The traditional strategies to enterprise mobile security involve three areas: mobile data protection, network access control and mobile device management tools. V-Key offers an alternative focused approach by ensuring security at the mobile applications level.
The design approach behind V-Key’s technology does not assume the mobile phone to be secure. Instead, the entire V-Key architecture is premised on the need for mobile applications to remain secure, even if an attacker has compromised the underlying mobile operating system. V-Key’s suite of products provides multiple layers of detection to secure the organization’s slew of mobile applications, thereby safeguarding the integrity of sensitive corporate information. V-Key’s solution is simply pre-installed as part of the enterprise’s app stores internally, and transparently secures the enterprise information when employees download enterprise mobile apps such as email and VPN log-on to access business data.
Similarly, organizations offering external mobile applications services, such as m-commerce and e-trading, to external customers stand to benefit from V-key’s technology. The solution transforms any enterprise mobile applications, such as mobile banking, to an intelligent threat-aware mobile application that allows transactions to take place, despite an unsecured environment. Critical user information is protected without any additional complex installation on the users’ mobile devices.
About IPV Capital
IPV Capital is an early growth venture capital fund that invests in high-growth technology sectors including software, cleantech, technology services and semiconductor. With offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Silicon Valley, IPV Capital brings its wealth of management and technology development experience to mentor a new breed of entrepreneurs with global aspirations. The IPV Capital team has a solid track record in successfully growing technology startups in China and beyond, making it the ideal go-to partner for investment in the country. For more information, see http://www.ipvcap.com.
About V-Key Inc.
V-Key focuses on mobile application threat research, protection, and intelligence solutions. V-Key researches into the latest mobile threats and delivers advanced protections to meet the evolving mobile application threat landscape, powered by its patent pending V-OS secure mobile middleware and V-Guard suite of products. For more information, please visit http://www.v-key.com or email enquiries to: pr@v-key.com.
Media Contact
Angela Boey
The Hoffman Agency
Email: aboey@hoffman.com
Phone: +65-6261-0250
Source: V-Key Inc.

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September 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm

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Mobile Apps Intrusion Protection Pioneer V-Key Inc. Secures US$4 Million Series A Funding

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Defining Next-Gen Mobile Apps Intrusion Detection, Protection and Intelligence Analytics
Technology Addresses Critical Enterprise Mobility Security Gap
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. /PRNewswire/ — V-Key Inc., a pioneer and inventor of mobile application intrusion protection and intelligence, today announced it has secured Series A funding of US$4 million from IPV Capital, a leading early growth venture capital fund based in China with global offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Silicon Valley.
The fund will be used to widen the startup’s research and development capabilities in mobile applications security and intelligence technology, as well as to expand V-Key’s global sales and support operations in the United States and Asia Pacific. Today’s funding announcement underscores V-Key’s technological vision and the ease of use of its advanced solutions.
Traditional strategies to enterprise mobile security involve three areas: mobile data protection, network access control and mobile device management tools. V-Key offers an alternative approach by ensuring security at the mobile applications level.
Mobile applications often hold sensitive business-critical mobile transactions and data for users and enterprises. Custom targeted and automated attacks on mobile devices and applications are the fastest growing area of new attacks around the globe. V-Key’s V-Guard suite of mobile apps security solution provides multiple layers of detection to protect against threats of known and unknown application-level attacks. Through a unique combination of heuristic correlation algorithms and cutting edge secure mobile virtual machine firewall wrapper, V-Guard offers secure mobile protection in a user-friendly package for both users and enterprises.
Benjamin Mah, CEO and Co-founder of V-Key, said: “V-Key’s advanced detection, protection and intelligence at the mobile apps level is the next generation approach to defend against rapid mobile threats, yet delivers the desired results of simplicity, reliability and scalability to mobile business applications. We have a strong pipeline of innovations and will leverage this round of funding to speed our commercial efforts and gain wider customer adoption.”
“The growing use of mobile devices at the enterprise and consumer levels forms a sizeable market opportunity for advanced mobile apps security solutions. V-Key, with its market-defining technology and experienced executive management, is poised to create a paradigm shift in how organizations think about mobile security, and we are excited to be part of that,” said Terence Tan, Managing Partner at IPV Capital.
About IPV Capital
IPV Capital is an early growth venture capital fund that invests in high-growth technology sectors including software, cleantech, technology services and semiconductor. With offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Silicon Valley, IPV Capital brings its wealth of management and technology development experience to mentor a new breed of entrepreneurs with global aspirations. The IPV Capital team has a solid track record in successfully growing technology startups in China and beyond, making it the ideal go-to partner for investment in the country. For more information, see http://www.ipvcap.com.
About V-Key Inc.
V-Key focuses on mobile application threat research, protection, and intelligence solutions. V-Key researches into the latest mobile threats and delivers advanced protections to meet the evolving mobile application threat landscape, powered by its patent pending V-OS secure mobile middleware and V-Guard suite of products. For more information, please visit http://www.v-key.com or email enquiries to: pr@v-key.com.
Media Contact
V-Key Inc.
Benjamin Mah
Email: pr@v-key.com
Tel: +1-650-593-3228
Source: V-Key Inc.

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September 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm

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Russia-Singapore Business Forum 2012: 7th Annual Forum Reaffirms Russia-Singapore Relations and Growth Potential for Businesses Between Both Countries

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RSBF 2012 closes with deals forged and more opportunities in the offing
SINGAPORE /PRNewswire/ — Some 700 participants from 40 countries attended the 7th annual Russia-Singapore Business Forum (RSBF) that concluded today in Singapore.
Organised by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), RSBF 2012 updated Russia/CIS and Singapore/Asia participants on regional developments through a series of themed dialogue and panel sessions helmed by distinguished political elite and business leaders.
Commenting on RSBF 2012, Mr Michael Tay, Executive Director of RSBF and former Ambassador of Singapore to Russia said, “We continue to see an increase in the number of agreements and transactions that take place within the framework of Russia-Singapore Business Forum. I am pleased to see that there are delegates from Russia, as well as from Singapore and Asia-Pacific countries, who come back here year after year. I am confident that the potential for exchange between the two regions, both economic and cultural is great.”
The forum continues to fulfill its main goal of fostering closer relations, networking and collaboration between business representatives in Russia/CIS and their Singapore/Asia counterparts. This was reflected in the Forum’s programme this year, having included, in addition to the usual broad-based topics, industry-specific sessions on the development of industrial clusters, real estate investments and innovation and technology.
Mr Igor Shuvalov, First Deputy Prime Minister who spoke on the sidelines of RSBF, after the Ministerial Dialogue with Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on 25 September said, “Russia and Singapore have a huge potential for cooperation. Today, we discussed with our Singaporean counterparts a number of specific projects, such as agriculture and innovation. Singapore can play an important role by sharing its experience of good governance. The Russian government is ready to consider the interests of Singaporean investors and offer them a stake in the companies that they will manage.”
Other key speakers included:
Lee Kuan Yew, Former Prime Minister, Singapore
Igor Shuvalov, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation
Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Finance, Singapore
Rustam Minnikhanov, President, Republic of Tatarstan
Nikolai Nikiforov, Minister of Communications and Mass Media, Russia
Andrei Slepnev, Minister for Trade, Member of the Board, Eurasian Economic Commission
Alex Overchuk, Deputy Commissioner, Federal Tax Service of Russia
Raj Sriram, Deputy CEO, BSI Asia
Jim Rogers, International Investor and Author of A Gift to My Children
RSBF as Asia’s leading business and networking platform was also reinforced by the forging of deals and the creation of opportunities.
Participant Mr David Yang, Founder and Chairman of the Board, ABBYY, and Co-founder of iiko said, “iiko’s technologies work not only in Russia but also in countries such as Vietnam, China, Armenia, Azerbaijan and others. RSBF gives us the opportunity to enter the market of Singapore, as well as other markets of Asia Pacific. At the moment, we are nearing completion of our first transaction with the new Singapore restaurant, which is interested in using our software.”
In agreement, Mr Raymond Armes, President and CEO of NEC Neva shared on his company’s participation, “We participate in the Forum as an official partner of the Government of St. Petersburg under the project ‘Our City – St. Petersburg’. Today, the Governments of St. Petersburg and Singapore begin active cooperation. Thanks to the help and support of the Executive Director of RSBF Michael Tay, the official visit of the government delegation of the Russian northern capital to Singapore was made possible in August this year. Their Singaporean colleagues have shown how the systems and solutions of the ‘smart and safe city’ work in real time. This collaboration is an example of trust between our two countries because the Singaporean government shares its unique experience with Russia.”
Summing up his experience at RSBF, Singapore businessman Mr Leonard Ng, Business Development Director of NPH International said, “This is my third year at the Russia-Singapore Business Forum. It has been a good platform to network with people across industries, and provides a sense of the scale of collaboration and cooperation that can ensue between two vastly different regions. The diverse culture and linguistic differences within Russia is intriguing, and it is a market of great potential for anyone who dares to venture, as long as they have the stamina.”
Delegates to RSBF will close the forum with the Closing Party at newly-opened contemporary Italian restaurant Zafferano, Singapore’s largest Italian restaurant, before embarking on site visits and networking events the day after.
Russia was Singapore’s 29th largest trading partner in 2011. Total trade amounted to US$ 4.7 billion. Currently there are more than 330 Russian companies in Russia, compared to only 14 in 2004. The Russian-speaking population has grown from 300 in 2003 to about 5,000 people so far. Singapore was visited by more than 38,000 Russians in the first six months of 2012, which is around 20% more than that over the same period last year.
*Please refer to Annex 1 for more quotes from participants.
About Russia-Singapore Business Forum
The Russia-Singapore Business Forum (RSBF), initiated in 2006, is an annual B-to-B forum organised by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) that takes place in Singapore. The RSBF Organising Council is led by Executive Director, Mr Michael Tay, former Singapore Ambassador to Russia. The RSBF’s Strategic Partner is Sberbank, the largest bank in Eastern Europe. The RSBF has the support of key Singapore Government agencies, particularly the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Since the inaugural forum in March 2006, the RSBF has grown in stature to become Asia’s leading business and networking platform for Russia/CIS and Singapore/Asia General businessmen. It is evolving into a broader platform for emerging markets from these two regions, and has set a precedent in bringing together top government officials and business elite from these regions.
About Singapore Business Federation
As the apex business chamber, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) champions the interests of the business community in Singapore, in trade, investment and industrial relations. Nationally, SBF acts as the bridge between the government and businesses in Singapore to create a conducive business environment. Internationally, SBF represents the business community in bilateral, regional and multilateral fora for the purpose of trade expansion and business networking. For more information, please visit our website: http://www.sbf.org.sg
Annex 1: Quotes from Participants
Mr Sergey Belousov, Senior Partner of the venture fund Runa Capital, Founder and Co-owner of Parallels, Acronis, Rolsen, Acumatica
“This is the fourth Russian-Singapore Business Forum, in which I am involved. Over the years it has become one of the best sites, enabling people to meet and find new points of interaction between the most active and fastest growing businesses of the Asian region and Russia. Surprisingly, this is where I was able to meet with a number of successful business and political leaders, among them Michael Tay, Sergei Sobyanin, Rustam Mininhanov Ruben Vardyanyan, Eugene Tugolukov Rustam Tariko, Oleg Deripaska from Russia and Lee Kuan Yew, Goh Chok Tong, Herve Aymond of Corndale.com, Dmitry Levitt from Singapore. A series of meetings resulted in long-term partnership in the field of high-tech business, scientific and educational projects. Businesses of Parallels and Runa Capital’s portfolio companies grow and develop rapidly in Asia. We have made a number of investments in Singapore technology startups, helping Russian, American and European IT-companies to enter this market, and for us Forum has become a catalyst for cooperation with Asian companies.”
Mr Victor Tarusin, Executive Director of the Business Council Russia – ASEAN (Part of the Chamber of Commerce of the Russian Federation)
“The RSBF platform is very effective for attracting investments to Russia and for Russian companies to enter international markets. Business Council Russia – ASEAN has brought a whole delegation of Russian companies, including Morton group, which offers investors from South-East Asia to participate in the projects of the group, such as an office and residential complex “headquarters at Mosfilm.”
Mr Maxim Shereykin, Deputy Governor, Kaluga region
“This is not the first time we come to the forum, because it gives us the ability to quickly move from words to deeds. To last year’s agreement with SsangYong is already being implemented. The company began construction of housing complex in Kaluga on the area of 18 hectares. This year we are particularly interested in attracting pharmaceutical investor-companies. In Kaluga there is a successfully operating pharmaceutical cluster, which currently has four global investors, including companies such as AstraZeneca and Novo Nordisk.”
Mr Anatoly Mamaev, Director of SibSpark
“I am pleased that at the Forum we were able to talk directly with First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Igor Shuvalov, who was interested in our project and has instructed his unit to study it and to consider options for state support. We hope that this meeting will yield concrete results in the form of future development of our project.”
For media queries please contact:
Mr. Gerald De Cotta
Tel: +65-6827-6896
Mobile: +65-9831-7210
Email: gerald@sbf.org.sg
Ms. Eileen Lee
Tel: +65-6827-6874
Mobile: +65-9004-6920
Email: eileen.lee@sbf.org.sg
Source: Singapore Business Federation

Written by asiafreshnews

September 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm

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