Yong Tai goes for vaccine distribution

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 19): Tourism and property company Yong Tai Bhd sees hope in its plan to move into the distribution of Covid-19 vaccine since its “core businesses” have been badly impacted by the global disease.

“Our core businesses — tourism and property — were the two worst-hit industries during this pandemic. We need to survive and sustain the business through this period of time. We don’t see the tourism and property sectors recovering significantly in the next two years. That is why we want to be involved in vaccine distribution,” Yong Tai CEO Datuk Wira Boo Kuang Loon told The Edge Malaysia in a report for its latest issue.

“Today, we cannot keep pumping money into the property sector. Good money should not be put into a risky business or bad industry anymore. Proceeds from the fundraising should be used in the right industry,” he added.

It was reported on Dec 4 that Yong Tai signed a heads of agreement with China-based Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products Co Ltd for “the development and exclusive commercialisation of the latter’s inactivated Covid-19 vaccine in Malaysia”. Yong Tai is set to supply 100 million doses of the vaccine over a five-year period.

Yong Tai has also appointed Kinsel Sdn Bhd to carry out clinical study of the vaccine in Malaysia.

“We don’t have any intention to do new launches for now. Our job is to get our existing projects done. We don’t see a good time for properties in the next two years,” Boo explained.

“If you look at the property sector, the high-end segment is definitely a no-go. Everybody is going into affordable housing, but you will face competition when too many developers rush into the same segment.

“I think the worst for the property market has yet to come as the unemployment rate is going up,” he added.

Meanwhile, its Encore Melaka theatre in Impression City has yet to reopen since being closed in March to comply with pandemic standard operating procedures.

Yong Tai has been incurring “non-operating expenses such as routine maintenance despite zero income in the past few months”, said the weekly’s report.

Boo revealed that while Encore Melaka has not been commercially successful “judging by the returns, it is still much needed, especially for national events”.

“We probably moved too fast, and we haven’t got the market yet for this kind of performance and product.”

Read the full report in this week’s The Edge Malaysia

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