Xian Leng Holdings Bhd plans to capitalise on the current craze for the Asian arowana in China and will set up a trading company in Guangzhou in a month or two.
By being directly involved in the trading of the species in China, the company would no longer need to use a third party like now, said executive director Chua Bah Bee.
He said that demand for the species had increased tremendously in China's main cities – especially in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai – and suppliers there were having problems keeping pace with the demand.
Since last year, the price of arowana in the three cities had increased by 30% and was likely to rise further within a year or two, he said.
“Many Chinese, especially businessmen, believe that keeping the fish will bring them good luck and prosperity,” Chua told StarBiz after the company's AGM yesterday.
He said the craze for the fish, also known as the dragon fish, was started by Taiwanese investors and businessmen in China.
On the trading company, Chua said Xian Leng China Holdings Ltd would be a 55:40:5 joint venture between Xian Leng Holdings, Hong Kong-based Intelligence Engineering Inc and Kamihata Fish Industry (China) Ltd.
He said the company would be based in Guangzhou as it was a major trading and cultivation centre for ornamental fish in China.
Chua said the southern Chinese city had more than 1,000 shops selling ornamental fish and related products, adding that there were 100 wholesalers and dealers.
“Ornamental fish breeding, trading and related activities in Guangzhou city have been going on for more than 100 years,” he added.
The city also housed Asia's biggest wholesale centre – spanning 30,000 sq ft – for ornamental fish and other related products, he said.
He said Xian Leng Holdings had invested between RM10mil and RM12mil in its third farm with 38 ponds in Parit Sulong near here.
The farm would be ready by next year.