Xinhua Finance acquires majority stake in EconWorld Media

Source: Xinhua Finance

Xinhua Finance (TSE Mothers: 9399), China's premier financial services and media company, today announced it has taken its first step into financial media, buying a majority stake in the Hong Kong company EconWorld Media, a media company active in financial publishing, with interests in books and a successful magazine.

EconWorld publishes a range of Chinese-language publications, 15 in Hong Kong and 10 in China, and a magazine on China's financial markets, personal finance and wealth management.

"This is the first step by Xinhua Finance into the financial media field, adding a new high-margin revenue stream for us," said Xinhua Finance CEO Fredy Bush. "Financial media will be an important part of the future of this company because it allows us to move our significant array of products onto new platforms."

Ms Bush said that China's financial media is in its infancy and growing fast. "We are well placed to take the lead as this vast market opportunity develops," she said.

Alex Fan, EconWorld's co-founder and CEO, said, "By joining forces with Xinhua Finance, we become a part of a much stronger platform which will allow us to grow into a major financial print media player in Greater China."

Yolanda Lo, EconWorld's co-founder and COO, said, "The company's publications will be dramatically enhanced by the wide range of China and international content, advertising, and distribution capabilities that Xinhua Finance can provide.

Under the purchase agreement, Xinhua Finance now gains ownership of a highly successful Greater China financial publishing business. Through partnerships with local publishers, EconWorld's various books are being sold throughout Greater China in over 1,000 book stores and EconWorld's magazine is distributed to most major cities and has seen its advertising revenue doubled since January.

The magazine has a monthly circulation of 70,000 which is audited by global media audit firm BPA Worldwide and has attracted major advertisers such as Hang Seng Bank, Audi, Ford, Nokia, Philips, Samsung, and Martell.

Xinhua Finance is purchasing a 60% stake, with an option to buy the remaining 40% for a purchase price based on the company's achievement of various financial performance targets. The specific financial terms were not disclosed.

Xinhua Finance CEO Ms Bush said, "China is the future, and distribution capability within China has enormous value. Xinhua Finance has the content and we are using the company's unique positioning in the China market and first mover advantage to build a significant distribution network for that financial information. This is but the first step," she added.

China financial media has a level of upside potential rarely seen in the world. China's media market now accounts for around 12% of global advertising revenue, compared to 7.5% for Japan, and China advertising spend grew 16% last year to more than 60 billion RMB (US$7.2 billion), according to research by the International Monetary Fund.

Key executives include CEO Alex Fan, formerly CEO and Chief Editor of Economic Digest, the no. 1 business weekly magazine in Hong Kong, and founder and CEO of Economic Digest Publishing, Hong Kong top business and finance book publisher; COO Yolanda Lo, formerly General Manager of The Asian Wall Street Journal Weekly, Circulation Director of the Far Eastern Economic Review and General Manager of the Hong Kong Economic Times, Hong Kong's no.1 business daily newspaper.

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