Next Media surges on news channel approval
Next Media, publisher of the Chinese-language Apple Daily, saw its shares climb anew a day after Taiwan gave its long-sought-after approval for the company to run a television news channel in the island.
The company's shares climbed 7.78 per cent to finish at 97 HK cents yesterday, their highest close since May 27, when they reached 98 HK cents. The stock had advanced as much as 18 per cent to hit HK$1.06 earlier in the day.
The number of shares transacted yesterday also increased to 12.692 million from 1.79 million on Wednesday. That was significantly higher than its estimated three-month average trading volume of 627,483 shares.
In a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday, Next Media's board addressed the unusual movements in its shares' price and trading volume.
'Save for the grant of a satellite TV broadcast licence for a news channel by the National Communications Commission (NCC) in Taiwan to the group yesterday, the board is not aware of any reasons for such increases,' it said.
The NCC's approval came months after Next Media filed an administrative review against the rejections over the last two years for its application to operate news, entertainment and general-interest channels.
The Taiwanese regulator had earlier granted Next Media two satellite TV broadcast licences for a movie and a sports channel.
'The group expects its TV business to become highly successful once they are fully scaled,' Next Media chairman Jimmy Lai Chee-ying said last month.
Lai said he expected the company's new TV channels to 'serve as a catalyst that will dramatically transform the landscape of the Taiwan TV industry when they begin to reach a mass audience'.
Tseung Kwan O-based Next Media posted an 11.3 per cent increase in total revenue to HK$3.478 billion in its fiscal year to March from HK$3.126 billion a year earlier.
The number of assurances Jimmy Lai Chee-ying gave the NCC that the channel's news content will not feature sensationalism, sex and violence