Possible delisting for Utusan

UTUSAN MELAYU TO BE DECLARED INSOLVENT

For decades it was known as Umno’s mouthpiece, Utusan Melayu now faces possible delisting from the stock exchange.

Falling into the Practice Note 17 (PN17) classification, this indicates that the company financials are inadequate.

Utusan Malaysia defaulted on loans from Bank Mualamat Malaysia Bhd and Maybank Islamic Bhd according to several reports in local newspapers.

Where the previous government was its lifeboat in terms of financial assistance the company may not now last beyond a year. Employees have been forewarned that funds will soon run out especially with the Barisan Nasional’s defeat earlier this year.

If a rationalization plan isn’t formulated within the next 12 months there will be tough times ahead and a delisting inevitable.

The company’s listed securities will be suspended from trading on the sixth market day after the date of notification of suspension by Bursa Securities and de-listing procedures shall be taken against the company.

Up until recently, Utusan has been surviving on government contracts procured through its links with Umno.

Just last year, it was reported that the company was awarded a contract to supply more than 180,000 tablets to teachers nationwide.

Weeks before the May 9 polls, it was Utusan which was tasked with printing campaign posters for BN.

Lately however schools, colleges, universities and agencies under the education ministry have been advised to terminate subscription to the Utusan Newspaper.

Utusan, publishes four newspapers namely Utusan Malaysia, Mingguan Malaysia, Kosmo! and Kosmo! Ahad and magazines such as Wanita, URTV, Harmoni, Mastika and Saji.

It has been making a loss for the last six financial years, with its last full year profit reported in Dec 31, 2011, as its newspaper publishing and advertising businesses saw a decline in revenue over the years.

Other Umno-linked media companies, including New Straits Times Press, (NSTP) are also trying to adjust to the new political landscape which is slowly taking shape under the Pakatan Harapan administration.

NSTP has advised its staff to make editorial adjustments to maintain neutrality.


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