M'sia Media Shoppe to be agent for China's telco giant ZTE to invest in M'sia

PETALING JAYA - The Media Shoppe Bhd (TMS) has been appointed as an agent of China's ZTE Corp as part of a plan for the Chinese telco giant to provide financing services for information and communication technology (ICT) projects here in Malaysia, sources said.

The deal between ACE Market-listed TMS and ZTE should also pave the way for both parties to work together on future projects, the sources said.

In the latest financing deal, a figure of US$1bil (RM3.16bil) is being bandied about as the amount of money that TMS will help ZTE to loan out, specifically to companies that plan to embark on ICT projects in the Iskandar region, the country's ambitious development project in Johor.

The sources said the funds would come from ZTE's wholly-owned subsidiary, Shenzhen-based ZTE Supply Chain Co Ltd, which has decades of experience in global integrated supply chain services.

One source noted that TMS, currently in the red, could reap a net profit margin of about 15 per cent from its role as the local partner of the Chinese giant in this financing project, that may entail TMS playing some sort of an "overseer" role of for the financing of the ICT projects.

An agreement between TMS and ZTE Supply Chain is expected to be signed in China this week. It is understood that executives of TMS are already there for this purpose. As at press time, TMS did not reply to StarBiz queries.

It is believed that such a tie-up is the first of a kind for ZTE Supply Chain as its global parent company seeks to gain entrance into the Malaysian market and its surrounding ASEAN neighbours, hungry for telecommunication networking equipment and consumer products like smartphones.

Currently, the ZTE group has a presence in the Malaysian market, with DiGi.Com Bhd being one of its major clients for network solutions. It has also teamed up with a local firm to sell telco devices in Malaysia.

"For TMS, this partnership with the ZTE group will see its profile enhanced; this could pave the way for more jobs for it both here and abroad," noted the source.

At the close on Friday, TMS shares finished 2.5 sen up to 12.5 sen while its warrants were up 4 sen to 10 sen.