14 M'sian Firms on Forbes Asia's 'Best Under a Billion' List
SINGAPORE (Sept 1, 2011): Fourteen Malaysian companies have made it to Forbes Asia's "Best Under a Billion" list this year, topping other Southeast Asian countries with the most number of companies on the list.
Among the Bursa-listed countries in the list are glove makers Top Glove Corp Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd and Latexx Partners Bhd, and education groups HELP International Corp Bhd and Masterskill Education Group Bhd, and engineering and infrastructure-based KKB Engineering Bhd, Mudajaya Group Bhd and Coastal Contracts Bhd.
Among Southeast Asian countries, Vietnam makes the biggest jump with 10 companies, nine more than last year, that include PetroVietnam Low Pressure Gas Distribution and DHG Pharmaceutical while Singapore has six companies on the list, Thailand (five), Indonesia (three) and The Philippines (two).
In the Asia Pacific, Malaysia was ranked fifth with the most number of companies on the list of 200 companies. The list ranks public companies with annual revenue of between US$5 million (RM14.95 million) and US$1 billion. They are also screened for return on equity.
Chinese and Hong Kong companies steal the limelight with 65 companies having exceptional sales and earnings growth.
Forbes Asia editor Tim Ferguson said: "Essentially these are our picks of the companies that have best managed through the economic volatility that began in 2008. Most navigated the global credit crunch with little to no debt on their balance sheets. On average, the companies on the list have a 13% debt-to-equity ratio, and 67 of these companies carry no debt at all."
It said 21 of the 65 Chinese and Hong Kong companies on the list are returnees from last year. On average, their sales grew 43% over the last three-year period while earnings per share grew 50%.
The winning companies include sports goods manufacturers 361 Degrees International, e-commerce technology firm Alibaba.com, Changchun Faway Automobile Components, and sports apparel maker China Donxiang Group.
India has 35 companies on the list or the second highest number, followed by Taiwan (25) and South Korea (16).
Three Chinese companies outgrew the list from last year: branded sportswear maker Anta Sports Products, Web-service provider Baidu, and knitwear manufacturer, Shenzhou International Holdings. India's largest storage-battery producer, Exide Industries, also graduated from the list as it grew too big. Each of these companies broke the US$1 billion sales mark in the past 12 months.
The list had its share of victims of the vicissitudes that buffet SMEs. Chinese property developer, Wuhan Double, fell off the list as its sales shrank 65% in 2010. On a good note, China's Sohu.com returns after a hiatus last year, having suffered an earnings hit in 2009.
The "Best Under A Billion" list appears in the September issue of Forbes Asia.