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FINANCIAL SERVICES | Tony Chua, Hong Kong
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Man Sang International expands into China microcredit business

The group also appoints Zhang Huaqiao as Executive Director and CEO to lead expansion.

Man Sang International Limited (“Man Sang Group”) on Wednesday announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Man Sang Finance Limited (“MSF”) and Slow Bull Capital Limited (“SBC”) have signed an investment and development agreement, pursuant to which the Group is to expand the micro credit business in Mainland China. The Group also announced that Mr Zhang Huaqiao has been appointed as Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Group with immediate effect.

Man Sang Group will develop new business in the Mainland China - Micro Credit Business. Micro credit business is a new financial product which initially introduced during the economic reform in China’s rural areas in the 1970s.The Group’s product aims to serve as a vehicle for collaboration between the rural areas and the private small-scale capital markets to improve local financial services, standardise financing channels, promote economic growth as well as bring immense opportunities to private enterprises. According to the People’s Bank of China, the demand for micro credit service is increasing rapidly. As at June 2011, the credit balance was recorded as RMB287.5 billion, a year-on-year growth of 1.3 times. The Group expects the new business to become a new growth driver and generate high returns for shareholders, according to a Man Sang International report.

As part of the Group’s agreement with SBC, a company wholly owned by Mr Zhang Huaqiao, SBC will subscribe to 50,000,000 MSF shares at a consideration of HK$50,000,000. After the completion of the transaction, the total share capital of MSF will increase to HK$550,000,000, and SBC will hold approximately 9% of the share capital of MSF as enlarged by the MSF Investment project, while the remaining approximately 91% will be held by Man Sang Group.

In addition, Man Sang International is pleased to appoint Mr Zhang Huaqiao as its Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer for a term of three years commencing today. Mr Zhang is to be responsible for the overall management of the Group, the development of the micro credit business and the management of the Group’s capital market financing. He is an expert of the international financial market, having held key positions at the People’s Bank of China in Beijing. Besides, Mr. Zhang also served as the Managing Director and Co-head of the China research team at UBS Securities Asia Limited. He has also accumulated abundant experience within the operations of listed companies. From 2006 to 2008, he was the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Shenzhen Investment Limited.

The appointment of Mr Zhang and the establishment of MSF reflect Man Sang Group’s commitment to develop the micro credit business and mark an important milestone. The capital injection from SBC also demonstrates Mr Zhang’s commitment to the development of Man Sang Group and his confidence in the new operation.

Through this initiative, private enterprises can obtain reasonable returns and contribute to society and the economy, making the new business an asset with great social value. By joining Man Sang International, I intend to leverage my strength and expertise to the utmost to take Man Sang to new heights”.

To further penetrate the micro credit market and consolidate first mover advantage, Man Sang International Finance Limited under MSF has entered into a two-year strategic collaboration agreement with Guangzhou Huadu Wansui Micro Credit Co., Ltd. (“Wansui”), whose Chairman of the Board also is Mr Zhang Huaqiao. Wansui is one of the first batch of corporations approved by the Finance Affairs Office of People’s Government of Guangdong Province, China, to carry out microlending.

Since it started operations in April 2009, Wansui has focused on providing small loans and consultancy services to agricultural enterprises, farmers who run small businesses,and SMEs . It also provides support to farmers engaged in planting and cultivation industries and as well as to industrial and commercial households in urban areas.

Looking ahead, Mr. Cheng Chung Hing, Chairman of Man Sang Group said, “The Board is very delighted to welcome Mr Zhang. We believe that his expertise in the finance industry and risk management, as well as extensive connections will contribute substantial benefits to the Group. The Group has been operating in mainland more than 20 years, now together with the rich experience of Wansui, will help to build a strong foundation for the development and rapid growth of our micro credit business. Moving forward, Man Sang Group has three core business segments with industry-leading respective strengths and is expected to deliver long-term and handsome returns to shareholders”.

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