Tuesday May 29, 2012
Tycoon Vincent Tan likes Facebook for its value
By EUGENE MAHALINGAM
“Well, we may sell one day, but we're keeping them for the time being,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Malaysia-Philippines Business Council Pro-tem Committee luncheon yesterday.
Facebook's stock closed last Friday at US$31.91, down 3.4% on the day and 16% below its initial public offering (IPO) price of US$38. It was listed on May 18.
It was speculated that Tan might be looking to sell off his shares in Facebook depending on how the stock performed. Despite the poor performance of the stock, he said there was still value to be unlocked from the stock.
“I think this is only a temporary setback for Facebook shares. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook's founder and chief executive officer) is such a brilliant person and will come up with more ideas on how to increase the revenue and profit (of Facebook) and I'm sure its shares will do well,” he said.
MOL Global Bhd, which Tan has a 88% stake in, owns 3.5 million shares in Facebook. MOL's shares in Facebook came about in exchange for patents from another social networking site - Friendster, also owned by MOL.
Based on Facebook's IPO price of US$38 per share, MOL was set to pocket some US$133mil (RM418.66mil) for its shares. However, based on its closing price of US$31.91 last Friday, MOL's stake in the social networking site is now worth about US$111.69mil (RM351.72mil).
On another note, Tan said the first phase of Berjaya Land Bhd's (BLand) Great Mall of China is expected to be completed before the end of next year.
“We will complete the first phase by November 2013. The second phase may take another three years. Our challenge is to complete it and it would be the biggest mall in the world.
“The first phase alone is over five million sq ft. The second phase is bigger, almost 13 million sq ft,” he said.
BLand's 51% owned subsidiary, Berjaya Great Mall of China Co Ltd, is undertaking the development of the Great Mall of China.
The balance 49% is owned by Tan, through his private arm, Berjaya Times Square Cayman Ltd.
The committee luncheon was attended by over 40 dignitaries and guests from various key companies in Malaysia, with Philippine vice-president Jejomar C. Binay as the guest-of-honour.
In his speech at the event, Tan said the Philippines was a great place for Malaysian companies to invest in.
“Philippines has all the ingredients for success. It has a big population and a great advantage there is that the people speak English. And because we can speak their lingo, it's much easier to do business (there),” he said.