Business digest

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 May, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 May, 2005, 12:00am

esun holdings share sale to raise $155m

Media firm eSun Holdings is raising $155.4 million through a share sale.

The company said it had agreed to sell 74,000 shares to Asset Managers (China) Fund and issue the same number of new shares at $2.10 each.

Asset Managers, incorporated in the Cayman Islands with limited liabilities, was introduced to eSun through director Peter Lam Kin-ngok.

The sale price represented a 4.55 per cent premium to the closing price of $2.20 on Thursday, before the stock was suspended from trading.

The stock will resume trading today.

The 74,000 new shares represent about 11 per cent of the existing issued share capital and about 9 per cent of the enlarged issued share capital.Peggy Sito

hkbn offers free trial for pccw customers

Hong Kong Broadband (HKBN) has stepped up its battle against PCCW, this time targeting the dominant carrier's broadband business.

HKBN yesterday said it would provide broadband services to PCCW customers for six months under a free trial.

The service offers guaranteed downloads of 80 megabytes per second (Mbps), and uploads of 8Mbps. This compares with download speeds of 6Mbps for PCCW, although the operator has said it will eventually unveil a 25Mbps service.

HKBN has 200,000 broadband customers. Subscribers to the trial service are required to submit to HKBN 'speed tests' that measure the performance of both the HKBN and PCCW services.

Michael Logan

demand slump prompts luoyang glass warning

Luoyang Glass, one of the mainland's leading glassmakers, has warned that this year's first-half earnings will suffer because of a slowdown in demand.

The expected earnings drop was due to the 'establishment of a number of production lines and the violent competition arising from price reductions in the first half,' the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Luoyang Glass said its first-quarter gross margin fell 5.39 percentage points to 17.95 per cent compared with the year-earlier period.

The increasingly competitive environment was also a result of the central government's macro-economic measures that had dampened demand for float sheet glass. Luoyang said the decline in demand began in the fourth quarter of last year.Elaine Chan

indicator shows economy gaining momentum

The economy last month showed its sharpest improvement for 12 months, the Brunswick Hong Kong Purchasing Managers' Index shows.

The index rose to 53.7 from 51.5 per cent in March, reflecting growth in output and new orders. It was the fourth consecutive month-on-month increase.

Business activity, a measure of output, rose at its fastest rate for 10 months as one-in-three firms registered an increase, reflecting a a sharp influx of new business.

New orders rose at their fastest rate since August last year, with companies citing increases from domestic buyers and export markets.

Purchases increased at the sharpest rate in eight months. Sandy Li