Mainboard-listed service portal operator e-Kong Group and corn refiner Global Bio-chem Technology Group are set to launch fund-raising exercises despite the depressed market conditions. E-Kong, whose shares were suspended from trade yesterday, said the suspension was related to a possible rights issue. It came a day after the company announced a net loss of HK$537.08 million in the year to June 30, compared with a loss of HK$1.27 million the previous year. The widening loss was due mainly to a decline in the value of technology investments, goodwill write-offs and sharply higher administrative expenses. Chief executive Derrick Bulawa declined to comment on the details and reasons for the rights issue. Shareholders who choose not to exercise their rights would see their stakes diluted after issue of the new shares. Meanwhile, mainland-based Global Bio-Chem has proposed raising about HK$334 million from a share placement, according to sources. The company will place 180 million old shares at HK$1.86 each and will subscribe to the same number of new shares later. The sponsor is said to be wanting to issue 76 million shares as a greenshoe option. The corn processor and refiner is said to be using the proceeds for developing a bio-fermentation business. On Tuesday, the company signed a pact with agricultural concern Cargill of the United States to form a 50-50 joint venture plant to produce high fructose corn syrup in Shanghai. The project will call for an investment of HK$80 million and become operational in the second half of next year. Chairman Liu Xiaoming said the project could expect a return on the investment two years after operations begin.