THE Top 40 Richest in Malaysia list for 2020 saw the entries of new tech billionaires from five companies, as they became beneficiaries of the China-United States trade tensions as well as a Covid-19 pandemic-induced electronic equipment demand surge, as lockdowns forced people to work from home.
Net worth is computed based on the closing share price of the companies as at Dec 31,2020.
It is worth noting that Penang is the base for four of the five new tech companies on the list, with the exception of Melaka-based D&O Green Technologies Bhd.
TAN ENG KEE (ranked 20th in the Top 40 Richest) Flagship: Greatech Technology BhdNet worth: RM3.87bil
Greatech’s share price jumped 279% in 2020 to close the year at RM9.10, from RM2.40 a year earlier, thanks to higher demand for automated manufacturing solutions in the photovoltaic (PV) and electric vehicle (EV) industries.
The 50-year-old Tan Eng Kee, (pic below) who is also Greatech CEO, had co-founded the group together with chief operating officer Khor Lean Heng in 1997.
The group provides automation solutions, including the designing, development and production of equipment, machineries as well as production line systems for industries such as PV, energy storage and semiconductor, consumer electronics and medical device.
Greatech debuted on the Ace Market in June 2019 at the initial public offering (IPO) price of 61 sen and a market capitalisation of RM381.86mil.
In December 2020, the group transferred its listing to the Main Market.
PublicInvest Research noted that Greatech’s assembly facilities in Malaysia gives the group a cost advantage against its US and European peers.
Greatech’s major customers include American EV maker Lordstown Motors and solar panel manufacturer First Solar.
In February 2021, Greatech inked a three-year deal with Atlis Motor Vehicles Inc to develop EV battery pack production line in Arizona.
Net profit in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31,2020 surged almost 77% year-on-year to RM31.83mil, while revenue rose 30.47% to RM76.35mil.
The strong fourth-quarter earnings were mainly due to higher revenue recognised for production line systems from existing customers, as well as a non-recurring engineering revenue recognised from a new customer in the EV energy storage industry.
For its financial year 2020, Greatech’s net profit leaped by nearly 68% year-on-year to RM91.16mil while revenue rose 20.9% to RM261.13mil.
As of Feb 4,2021, the group’s order book stood at RM351.2mil, which is expected to last until the first half of 2022.
CHU JENN WENG, SIAW KOK TONG and YEOH SHIH HOONG (ranked a combined 21st in the Top 40 Richest)
Flagship: Vitrox Corp Bhd
Combined net worth: RM3.84bil
ViTrox’s share price had jumped 85.6% in 2020 to close the year at RM14.70, from RM7.92 a year earlier.
ViTrox designs and manufactures cost-effective automated vision inspection equipment and system-on-chip embedded electronics devices for the semiconductor and electronics packaging industries.
The group’s core products are its machine vision system (MVS), automated board inspection (ABI) and electronics communication system (ECS).
ViTrox was set up in 2000 by Chu Jenn Weng, 50, and Siaw Kok Tong, 49, who are both Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) graduates.
They were later joined by fellow USM alumnus Yeoh Shih Hoong, 48.
Chu, who serves as the group’s president and CEO, as well as Siaw and Yeoh (both executive vice-presidents) are the three largest shareholders with a collective stake of over 56%.
Vitrox was listed on the Mesdaq Market (now Ace Market) in 2005, before transferring to the Main Market in November 2009.
For the nine months ended Sept 30,2020, net profit was up 19.14% year-on-year to RM73.7mil while revenue jumped 27% to RM310.59mil, mainly due to strong sales volume and the optimisation of its production capacity.
AmInvestment Research noted that for the first half of 2020, MVS and ABI products accounted for 40% and 58% of the group’s revenue respectively.
The research unit said ViTrox is a leader in MVS and ABI segments, and the group is targeting high-growth regions such as Taiwan and China.
DATUK NG CHAI ENG (pic below) and LAU CHEE KHEONG
(ranked a combined 24th in the Top 40 Richest)
Flagship: UWC Bhd
Combined net worth: RM3.7bil
UWC’s share price had soared 206% in 2020 to close the year at RM9.80, from RM3.20 a year earlier.
UWC is an integrated engineering support service provider with exposures in semiconductor, life science and medical technology industries.
Datuk Ng Chai Eng and Lau Chee Kheong, both 57 years old, are the largest shareholders with an indirect stake of 52.6% via UWC Capital Sdn Bhd and direct stakes of 8% each.
Ng and Lau are group CEO and chief operating officer, respectively, and had set up UWC in 1990.
The group was listed on the Main Market in July 2019, at an offer price of 82 sen.
For its financial year ended July 31,2020, UWC’s net profit rose 59.4% year-on-year to RM57.8mil while revenue rose 51.8% to RM219.1mil, thanks to new and higher orders from the semiconductor and life science industries.
Meanwhile, for its first quarter ended Oct 31,2020, UWC posted a 93.5% year-on-year increase in net profit to RM21.7mil, while revenue grew 52.4% to RM71.5mil, due to strong demand from the life science industry along with medical technology and laboratory equipment sectors.
In a report, Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research said UWC foresees a stronger demand for chip testers ahead in tandem with the projected semiconductor equipment market growth.
The group is constructing a class 10k cleanroom, which is expected to be completed by early 2021, to cater for front-end semiconductor equipment assembly.
The research unit said UWC’s outlook remains robust with developments in testers (chip and autonomous vehicle), 5G equipment and front-end equipment assembly.
GOH NAN KIOH and FAMILY
(ranked a combined 30th in the Top 40 Richest) Flagships: D&O Green Technologies Bhd and Mega First Corp Bhd (MFCB) Combined net worth: RM2.32bil
Low-profile businessman Goh Nan Kioh, 67, is one of the founders of construction group IJM Corp Bhd.
Goh and his family have substantial stakes in both D&O Green Technologies Bhd and Mega First Corp Bhd (MFCB).
D&O’s share price had soared 168% in 2020 to close the year at RM2.28, from 85 sen a year earlier.
As for MFCB, its share price jumped 35% in 2020 to close the year at RM6.90, from RM5.11 a year earlier.
D&O mainly provides services of original equipment manufacturer (OEM), original design manufacturer (ODM) and original branding manufacturer (OBM) in opto-semiconductor products, catered for automotive, general lighting, backlight unit and sensor applications.
For its third quarter ended Sept 30,2020, D&O posted record revenue, up 26.3% year-on-year to RM158.9mil, due to a 28% growth in its automotive segment revenue to RM154.9mil.
Net profit for the third quarter of financial year 2020 (FY20) was 63.4% year-on-year higher to RM14.7mil.
D&O stated that it would continue to benefit from a recovery in the global automotive industry, and sales of electric vehicles (EV) are projected to grow exponentially in China, Europe and the United States.
Meanwhile, Goh is executive chairman at MFCB, which builds, owns and operates power plants and also has divisions for limestone products, as well as packaging and labels.
For its third quarter ended Sept 30,2020, MFCB’s net profit rose 512% year-on-year to RM89.5mil while revenue was up 68.3% to RM211.2mil.
The sterling third-quarter results were mainly due to the RM137.5mil energy sales revenue (Q3 FY19: nil) from Don Sahong’s hydro energy sales to Électricité du Laos, as well as higher contribution from packaging and labels division (up 52.9% to RM28.1mil), partially offset by the absence of construction revenue (Q3 FY19: RM61mil).
For the first nine months of 2020, MFCB’s net profit jumped 224% year-on-year to RM228.2mil, while revenue expanded 9.2% to RM553.2mil.
PublicInvest Research said MFCB is expected to post a strong set of results for FY20 on the back of higher availability factor for the company’s Don Sahong hydropower station in Laos in the fourth quarter, given the higher water level during the wet period.
The availability factor of a power plant is the percentage of the time that it is available to provide energy to the grid.
OH KUANG ENG (ranked 35th in the Top 40 Richest)
Flagship: Mi Technovation Bhd Net worth: RM1.97bil Mi Technovation Bhd (Mi Tech) saw its share price jumping 106% in 2020 to close the year at RM3.94, from RM1.91 a year earlier.
Mi Tech, formerly known as Mi Equipment Holdings Bhd, is a leading manufacturer of equipment used for Advanced Packaging in the semiconductor industry.
The group’s key product is the flagship Mi Series wafer level chip scale packaging (WLCSP) die sorting machine under its assembly and packaging equipment range.
Mi Tech is helmed by group CEO Oh Kuang Eng, 51, who has a 68.8% stake.
The group debuted on the Main Market in June 2018, at an offer price of RM1.42.
In its 2019 annual report, the group said its products are sold in 10 countries and more than 90% of revenue was derived outside Malaysia.
Mi Tech reported record revenue of RM191.1mil (19.2% jump year-on-year) in the financial year ended Dec 31,2019 (FY19), while net profit grew 33.4% to RM59.2mil.
Its semiconductor equipment business unit contributed 99.5% of FY19 revenue.
The sterling FY19 results were due to strong demand from customers in Taiwan and China, as a result of the growth in capital investments from certain outsourced semiconductor and test service providers (OSATs) in advanced/WLCSP.
However, for the nine months ended Sept 30,2020, Mi Tech’s net profit dropped 2.1% year-on-year to RM40.8mil, due to an increase in fixed costs on new factories at Bayan Lepas and Batu Kawan, higher research and development spending, and commissions payable to external sales agents.
Revenue for the nine-month period jumped 31.3% to RM161.4mil, mainly due to stronger demand from customers in North-East Asia.