M-Mode in talks to extend services to China

MOBILE media content provider M-Mode Bhd is currently in exploratory talks to extend its services to China as part of its regional expansion plans. 

Executive director Tung Wai Fun said the company would venture into the Chinese market either through a joint venture or synergistic acquisitions. 

Declining to reveal more, she said the company would announce its decision early next year. 

“We hope to close the (China) deal and be able to go into the Chinese market by the first quarter next year,” she said. Tung also said M-Mode was eyeing the Asean region, but declined to elaborate. 

She was speaking to reporters at M-Mode's listing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. The company was yesterday admitted to Bursa Malaysia as a Mesdaq stock. 

Tung said the company's expansion strategy was to penetrate further into the local mobile media market, and replicate its business overseas.  

M-Mode provides information, database and entertainment services ranging from horoscope reading to football match updates via SMS, multimedia message service (MMS) and wireless application protocol/over general packet radio service (WAP/GRPS). 

For the listing, M-Mode yesterday debuted at 69 sen, at a premium of 24 sen or 53% higher than its offer price of 45 sen. It rose to a high of 72 sen before ending the day at 59 sen on volume of over 16.6 million shares. 

Commenting on the share price performance, Tung said the opening premium reflected investors' confidence towards M-Mode as a high growth stock. 

She said based on data from International Data Corp (IDC), the mobile content industry worldwide would grow to a size of US$78bil by 2007, from RM17bil last year. 

And based on analysts' estimates, Malaysian mobile phone subscribers were expected to reach 13 million users this year, up from 11.1 million last year, Tung said. 

“Hence, we are a high growth company operating in a high growth industry,” she said. 

Tung said M-Mode was currently the top mobile media content provider for the Chinese language and Bahasa Malaysia markets in the country, based on the sheer variety and diversity of its content. 

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