Thursday 30 May 2024
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This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly on January 11, 2021 - January 17, 2021

Metronic Global Bhd terminated its memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp on Dec 31, 2020.

It had announced on Nov 20, 2020 that it was looking to “obtain exclusive distribution rights for Medigen’s Covid-19 vaccine in Malaysia and potentially other areas subject to the terms and conditions in the MOA”.

Metronic’s stock gained 245% from just above five sen in early November to 19 sen on Nov 16. The tie-up with Medigen supposedly justified the run on its stock price.

When queried by Bursa Malaysia on the termination of the MOA, Metronic explained that it had not paid a deposit of US$1.5 million (RM6.04 million) to Medigen within the agreed timeframe.

A day later, Metronic further clarified that it had not deposited any funds with Medigen, and that “both the parties were of the opinion that it is not viable to proceed with the proposed distribution agreement based on the announcement made by Ministry of Health of Malaysia on Dec 17, 2020, that the government will purchase the Covid-19 vaccines directly from the suppliers”.

Was the second announcement a day later by Metronic an afterthought? 

What is disturbing is that almost immediately after announcing the MOA with Medigen, Metronic said in a press release that it “would be making RM180 million profit from Covid-19 vaccine”.

Why didn’t it make the announcement of the termination soon after Dec 17 when the government’s position was made known, instead of waiting two weeks to do so?

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