11 Malaysian firms on Forbes Asia BUB list

  • Business
  • Friday, 26 Jun 2015

SINGAPORE: Eleven Malaysian companies, including ELSOFT RESEARCH BHD, UEM EDGENTA BHD and GD EXPRESS CARRIER BHD, made it to this year’s Forbes Asia’s ‘Best Under A Billion’ (BUB) list.

A total of 123 new companies from all over the region made their debut on this year’s list, with companies from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan again dominating the ranks.

In a statement released yesterday, Forbes Asia said firms from the three countries accounted for 60% of the top-200 publicly-traded companies in the Asia-Pacific region.

On the list, the global media company said the firms were chosen based on sales and earnings growth for one year and over three years, apart from having a solid five-year return on equity. They should also have an annual revenue of between US$5mil and US$1bil and positive net income.

Forbes Asia said of the 200, 123 were new to the list, mainly from the small and medium-sized sector, and like the year before, China pharmaceutical and healthcare firms showed a strong presence. These include names lime Da An Gene, which sells biomedicine, genediagnostic products and conducts research on MERS virus testing kits, and China’s largest retailer of dietary supplements By-health, among others.

While 84 companies were from China and Hong Kong, down one from last year, Taiwan fell to second with the second-largest group of firms, it said, adding that five more made it this year, bringing the number from Taiwan to 36.

Of the firms, two have a market value of over US$3bil - e-beam inspection intruments supplier Hermes Microvision and knitted fabrics and apparel-maker Eclat Textile, as well as record label/talent agency HIM International Music.

“The secret to making the BUB is consistent growth in the measured performance metrics. One off year and you’re out.

“Companies in sustained strong-growth economies or in Taiwan’s case, exporting to them, have a decided advantage. It is also important to have a good, liquid channel for public stock offerings,” editor of Forbes Asia Tim Ferguson said.

Third on the list was South Korea with 17 firms, up from 12 last year.

Forbes Asia said among them were mobile game developer Com2uS and soju producer Muhak.

While Japan dropped out of the top-five countries with only eight firms from 15 last year, India and Malaysia both had 11 firms, followed by Australia with nine, it said.

Meanwhile, Singapore too did not fall short and was represented by six firms, up from three last year. Of the firms, Cordlife Group that operates cord-blood banks was one of them.

Thailand had the same number of firms as Singapore, but this was down from nine the previous year.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, had a rare entry from Vallibel Power Erathna, a company that produces hydropower electricity.

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