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5 Malaysian Firms On Forbes Asia ‘Best Under A Billion’ List

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KUALA LUMPUR: Five Malaysian companies, including new entrant Karex Bhd, the world’s largest manufacturer of condoms, made it to the 2016 Forbes Asia’s “Best Under A Billion” list.

The other companies are semiconductor player Inari Amerton Bhd, construction company Mitrajaya Holdings Bhd, MY E.G. Services Bhd (MyEG) and Signature International Bhd.

The “Best Under A Billion” list honours 200 leading public companies in the Asia Pacific region with annual revenue between US$5mil and US$1bil, have positive net income and have been publicly traded for at least a year.

Forbes said from a universe of 17,000 companies, the candidates were screened on sales growth and earnings growth in the past 12 months and over three years, and for the strongest five-year return on equity.

Below is the statement issued by Forbes Asia:

Companies from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan account for 65% of this year’s Forbes Asia’s “Best Under A Billion” list, a record high for the list of the top 200 publicly traded companies in the Asia-Pacific region. Of the 200 companies, 116 are new on this year’s list. The full list can be found at www.forbes.com/bub and in the latest issue of Forbes Asia.

The “Best Under A Billion” list honors 200 leading public companies in the Asia Pacific region with annual revenue between US$5 million and $1 billion, have positive net income and have been publicly traded for at least a year.

From a universe of 17,000 companies, the candidates are screened on sales growth and earnings growth in the past 12 months and over three years, and for the strongest five-year return on equity.

A total of 98 companies from China and Hong Kong made it to this year’s list, up from 84 the previous year. These companies stand out not just because of their record number but because they largely defy those who think that the world’s second largest economy is in trouble.

Companies that made the list include East Money Information, the most-visited financial website in the world; environmental tech company Beijing Sanju Environmental Protection and New Material; drama production company Zhejiang Huace Film & TV; cosmetics producer Shanghai Jahwa United; paint material manufacturer Beijing Oriental Yuhong Waterproof Technology and elevator equipment producer Canny Elevator.

A sector that has consistently stood out in recent years is biopharmaceuticals in China. This year, a total of 17 such companies made the list, including those associated with herbals or traditional Chinese medicine.

China’s lifting of price caps for most of the drug types in June 2015, also fueled the pharmaceutical and biotech sector’s growth. A notable listee is China Biologic Products, whose value has held steady. This year marks the fifth time the human plasma-based biopharmaceutical company made the list.

Making a strong showing on the list is Taiwan with 32 companies. Returning listees include KMC (Kuei Meng) International, the world’s biggest maker of bicycle chains, and TOPBI International Holdings, maker of children’s apparels and accessories.

South Korea has 16 companies on this year’s list, including LOEN Entertainment, an online music sales and talent development company. Japan made a strong rebound with 13 companies, an increase from eight last year. MonotaRO, a Japanese company which sells factory supplies and replacement parts online, also returns to the list.

Elsewhere in the region, Australia, India and Pakistan have seven companies each. A notable listee is Australian gold mining firm, Northern Star Resources, which has made a dramatic recovery from a near meltdown a decade ago with a huge comeback of $2.1 billion in market value. Sri Lanka has three companies on this year’s list, up from one last year.

In Southeast Asia, Singapore has two companies on this year’s list, while Malaysia has five companies, which includes new entrant Karex, the world’s largest manufacturer of condoms.

Thailand has four including Forth Smart Service, a top-up service company for prepaid phone and bankcards, while Vietnam has five companies on the list. The sole listee from the Philippines this year is D&L Industries, producer of food ingredients, plastics and chemicals. Indonesia has no representation on this year’s list.

Tim Ferguson, Editor of Forbes Asia, said: “Even if the Chinese economy continues to slow, the rest of Asia—if it is to carve out a bigger place on this SME all-star list—is going to find big markets for high-value goods and services. Maybe the Asean trade treaties can help.”

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