Docstoc

Wearnes appoints Deputy Chairman

Document Sample
Wearnes appoints Deputy Chairman Powered By Docstoc
					Wearnes appoints Deputy Chairman

Independent director Ng Ser Miang to assume new post
Will aid board and Chairman in Group’s plans to expand on recent
turnaround in operations and profit

 SINGAPORE, 13 NOVEMBER 2008                               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WBL Corporation Limited (Wearnes), a dynamic international group listed on
the SGX mainboard, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Ng Ser
Miang as the Deputy Chairman of its board, with immediate effect.

Mr Ng has served as an independent and non-executive director of the
Wearnes board since 2005. In addition, he is the chairman of its risk
committee and a member of its nominating committee. Following his
appointment as non-executive Deputy Chairman, he will continue to serve in
these roles.

As Deputy Chairman, Mr Ng will participate in the formulation and
implementation of the Group’s overall strategies for development, and will
assist the board and Chairman Wong Nang Jang in consolidating the Group’s
plans to take Wearnes on its next thrust forward.

Mr Wong commented: “During his tenure with Wearnes, Mr Ng Ser Miang has
provided the board with invaluable advice and contributed significantly to the
Group’s efforts to restructure its operations – efforts that have enabled
Wearnes to make a strong turnaround this year.

“Mr Ng’s long, illustrious service in the public sector as well as his vast
experience in the private sector will be of inestimable help to the Group as we
face the challenges ahead and step up our efforts to safeguard margins and
bolster profits.”

A distinguished diplomat as well as businessman, Mr Ng is currently
Singapore’s Ambassador to Hungary and Norway. He also served as a
Nominated Member of Parliament from 2002 to 2005. An avid sportsman as
well, with a particular passion for sailing, Mr Ng is Vice-President of the
Singapore National Olympic Council and a long-standing member of the
International Olympic Committee (IOC) as well as a member of its Executive
Board since 2005. He is also the Chairman of the Singapore Youth Olympic


                                                                              1
Games Organising Committee. For his many achievements in the public
sector, he was conferred the Singapore Public Service Star in 1999.

In the private sector, Mr Ng currently serves as the Chairman of TIBS
International Pte Ltd, NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Limited, NTUC Choice
Homes Co-operative Limited and Network China. He is also a director of
Singapore Press Holdings Limited, Yanlord Land Group Limited and NTUC
Fairprice Foundation Ltd. In addition, he served for seven years on the APEC
Business Advisory Council.

Added Mr Wong: “With this latest key appointment, Wearnes is confident that
we can capitalise on the many stringent measures we have put in place to
streamline our operations and that we will further strengthen our balance
sheet and cashflow position as we build on the turnaround that has been
achieved so far.

“The board believes that Mr Ng will contribute immensely to the Group’s
moves to improve debt and capital management, as well as its plans to forge
greater profitability, and it takes this opportunity to welcome him to his new
position.”

Currently, other members of the board include Group Chief Executive Officer
Tan Choon Seng and independent, non-executive directors Cham Tao Soon,
Michael Wong Pakshong, Fong Kwok Jen and Yeap Lam Yang as well as
non-independent and non-executive directors Lai Teck Poh, Norman Ip and
Peter Eng.

In its recent results, Wearnes reported a six-fold jump in net attributable profit
(PATMI) from operations to S$57.9 million for the year ended 30 September
2008 (FY08). Net earnings rose to S$66.8 million, in a reversal from the loss
of S$20.2 million posted in FY07. This turnaround was achieved through solid
performances at all four of the Group’s business divisions, in particular
technology and property.

Wearnes continued to generate positive net cashflow from operations, which
came in at S$138.8 million as at 30 September 2008. Net gearing improved
significantly to 8%.




                                                                                 2
 NEW DEPUTY CHAIRMAN NG SER MIANG

Mr Ng Ser Miang has served as an independent and non-executive director of
the Wearnes board since December 2005 and was last re-elected in 2006. He
also chairs the board’s risk committee and serves on its nominating
committee.

He currently serves as the Chairman of TIBS International Pte Ltd, NTUC
Fairprice Co-operative Limited, NTUC Choice Homes Co-operative Limited
and Network China. In addition, he is a director of Singapore Press Holdings
Limited, Yanlord Land Group Limited and NTUC Fairprice Foundation Ltd. He
was also a director of TIBS Holdings Ltd (the company he founded in 1981)
until its merger with SMRT in 2001, SMRT Corporation Ltd and Biosensors
International Group Ltd. He served as a member of the APEC Business
Advisory Council from September 2001 to September 2008.

Mr Ng has been Singapore’s Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary since
2000 and its Ambassador to the Kingdom of Norway since 2001. He was a
Nominated Member of Parliament from June 2002 to January 2005, and was
appointed a Justice of the Peace in September 2005.

He is an executive board member of the International Olympic Committee
(IOC) and serves on various IOC Commissions. He also chairs the board of
governors for the Singapore Olympic Academy, and serves as Vice-President
of the Singapore National Olympic Council and chairman of its finance
committee. In addition, he is the Chairman of the Singapore Youth Olympic
Games Organising Committee.

In 1999, Mr Ng was conferred Singapore’s Public Service Star. He has
received other awards, including the Medal of Commendation at the NTUC
May Day Awards in 1993, a Gold Medal from the International Sailing
Federation in 1998, the NTUC Friend of Labour Award in 2001 and the
Outstanding Chief Executive Award in 1992. In 2007, he received the NTUC
Meritorious Award.

Mr Ng holds a BBA (Hons) from the University of Singapore and is a Fellow of
the Chartered Institute of Transport.




                                                                           3
  ABOUT WEARNES                                                     www.wearnes.com
                                                 SGX mainboard listing: November 1912

Wearnes (WBL Corporation) is a dynamic international group with key activities in
technology, automotive distribution, property and engineering and distribution.

The Group is one of the world’s leading producers of flexible printed circuits (FPCs),
which are found in widely used consumer products such as mobile phones. Its
54.4%-owned, NASDAQ-listed unit, M-Flex, is one of the few global firms able to
provide seamless, integrated, end-to-end solutions for quick-turn prototypes through
high-volume production.

In automotive distribution, Wearnes has successfully expanded its operations over
the past century to include eight world-renowned brands: Volvo, Jaguar, Bentley,
Renault, Mazda, Volkswagen, Chevrolet and Bugatti.

The Group has a substantial land bank in China and, through its wholly-owned
subsidiary Huaxin International, is active in property developments in Shenyang,
Chengdu, Chongqing, Shanghai and Suzhou.

Its engineering and distribution businesses include the design and fabrication of
process equipment for the oil and gas industry, the distribution of bottled liquefied
petroleum gas, building materials and equipment for the construction and marine
industries, systems integration services and mining.



  FOR FURTHER ENQUIRIES

MR LESTER WONG                                                              WBL CORPORATION
                                +65 6470 6002                       lester.wong@wearnes.com


DR VIVIEN CHIONG                                                            WBL CORPORATION
                                +65 6470 6006                     vivien.chiong@wearnes.com


MS ELINE OH                                                                 OAKTREE ADVISERS
                                +65 9839 0263                    elineoh@oaktreeadvisers.com




                                                                                         4