Actcelerate International Group (NSX:ACT) Directors CK Cheong and James Huey talk about their approach to investing in SMEs and start-ups in the South-East Asian region and plans to list on the National Stock Exchange.
Jessica Amir: Hello I’m Jessica Amir for the Finance News Network and joining me from Actcelerate International Group are Directors (NSX), CK Cheong and James Huey. CK, James, welcome to Sydney.
CK Cheong: Thank you.
James Huey: Thank you.
Jessica Amir: First up CK, can you give us an introduction to the company?
CK Cheong: Actcelerate International Group is an investing company based in Southeast Asia. We focus on investing in four major sectors, namely Internet of Things (IoT), retail, art & design creativity, as well as green technology. We invest in the assembly and start up companies in Southeast Asia. Through our financial management and expertise, we then provide these companies with the opportunity to expand and to accelerate their market globally.
Jessica Amir: Over to you James. Can you tell us more about the company, starting with the investments?
James Huey: We aim to take an equity position in companies that have a valuation in the $10 million to $50 million range. And we’re looking for companies that as CK said, have good growth prospects in the region. And we aim to work with the company to help them to add value for their shareholders and to us, because we’re investing. And we’re looking for companies where the leadership has passion to develop their business, and we will help them to grow.
Jessica Amir: James, what about your competitive advantage?
James Huey: Our competitive advantage comes from the strengths we have available in our team, and with the advisors that we also engage with. We aim to add value to the companies and we are not short-term investors, we are there for the long haul. We want to create, help the companies’ owners and managers to develop a long-term sustainable business.
Jessica Amir: What about the returns that you’re targeting and what investors need to understand?
James Huey: I think firstly investors need to understand that we are aiming to develop long-term value, in the companies we invest in. So we’re looking for returns in the long-term, of an average of in excess of 15 per cent per annum. And we will be monitoring the performance of the companies very closely, to help them achieve those targets.
Jessica Amir: Thanks James, back to you CK, now to your listing. How much are you looking to raise and why have you chosen to list on the National Stock Exchange?
CK Cheong: We’re planning to raise up to $AUD10 million. We expect to list on the NSX by the end of August. So the reason for being listed on the NSX is the added value of transparency to the company. And this will raise our company profile and create liquidity into the company.
Jessica Amir: James, what are the ambitions for the company?
James Huey: Our ambitions for the company are obviously to grow it. And we aim to do that by investing in 30 to 50 SMEs in the region, and we will help them to develop and grow. And as our portfolio grows, we may well come back to the market for more funds, so that we can acquire more interest in other companies.
Jessica Amir: Now to performance, can you give us an example of one of your investments that’s done really well?
James Huey: One of our early investments has been in a business venture called Trendy County, by a company called Eyeport Sdn Bhd. Now this company has a very unique retailing proposition. It’s a very intelligent vending machine if you like, that creates a very interesting experience for shoppers. And the company has been performing very well so far in Malaysia, and the company will be aiming to expand its business into the region. The returns so far have been quite good.
CK Cheong: Further to that the vending machine itself has an intelligent camera on it. It identifies the gender of the customer, whether it’s a male or female. It then recommends the customer to the product they might be interested in. When they’ve made a purchase, the customer will key in the information into the machine, the machine will collect the data. And over time, this data is extremely valuable to the company itself.
Jessica Amir: Last question to you both. Where do you see the company in 12 months from now and longer-term?
CK Cheong: In 12 months from now, we hope to have invested into exciting companies from the Asia Pacific region.
James Huey: And to do that, we’ll expand our geographical presence. We aim to establish offices in China, in Singapore and in Jakarta. And that will enable us to tap into the local investment community and cherry pick the best opportunities.
Jessica Amir: Sounds exciting. CK Cheong, James Huey, thank you so much for the update and good luck with the listing.
James Huey: Thank you.
CK Cheong: Thank you.