KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 24): ARB Bhd has teamed up with China’s state-owned China United Network Communications Group Co Ltd (China Unicom) to undertake smart building projects and other ancillary businesses in Malaysia.
The partnership agreement was signed today by their respective subsidiaries, Arbiot Sdn Bhd and China Unicom Operation (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, ARB said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.
China Unicom is the world’s fourth-largest mobile service provider by subscriber base, and is listed on the stock exchanges in New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
For FY19, China Unicom registered a profit after tax and minority interests of 11.3 billion yuan (RM7.1 billion), on the back of a revenue of 264.4 billion yuan (RM164.9 billion), said ARB.
Under the agreement, both parties agreed to collaborate in artificial intelligence, internet of things (IoT) and smart buildings platforms and applications in Malaysia.
The initial term of agreement is three years and will automatically renew on an annual basis.
In a press statement, ARB executive director Datuk Larry Liew Kok Leong said the knowledge-transfer from China Unicom will enhance the group’s IT offering solutions and services to its clients.
“We understand that China Unicom is going big in the area of 5G, with the construction of telecommunication towers and buildings. Our collaboration is timely, as Arbiot will contribute via its IT offering solutions to the projects. We have strong confidence that this augurs well for the prospects of the group,” said Liew.
He added: "The partnership strategically aligns both companies for the long term by combining the strength of both entities with dedicated focus and expertise as a leading smart IoT player globally."
Yesterday, ARB reported a 1.27% rise in net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2020 to RM8.4 million, from RM8.29 million a year ago.
The group said there was only a small increase in profit, despite a jump of 71.78% in revenue to RM58.3 million from RM33.94 million a year ago, as the group's profitability was mitigated by higher costs of sales.
ARB shares closed up one sen or 3.39% at 30.5 sen today, giving it a market capitalisation of RM135.26 million. Some 42.21 million shares were traded.