KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Bhd (SDB) is not planning to exit Hong Kong as it still sees huge potential in growing its business there despite the ongoing political unrest.
Group chief executive officer Datuk Jeffri Salim Davidson said the motors and industrial divisions are the primary SDB’s businesses in Hong Kong, contributing 5.9 per cent revenue to the group.
"Hong Kong is a mature market with 56 years presence in the country. It has affluent society with high market share of the luxury segment,” he told reporters after the company’s annual general meeting here today.
Jeffri said however, SDB was concerned about its employees safety in Hong Kong although the protest has not done any damages to the company’s asset.
“We need to hunker down and wait for things to settle down. We have to ensure our staff is safe,” he said, adding that SDB employs about 1,200 staff in Hong Kong.
Jeffri said SDB’s industrial business was doing well as most of the equipment were used in quarries and infrastructure projects.
“Our Caterpillar dealership is also very profitable as we supply a lot of equipment, primarily for building infrastructure like roads and mass rapid transit extension.
“We also supply a lot of spare parts to the Hong Kong government dockyard including government coastal guards boats and tugboat,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said China was still a strong market for SDB but it expected headwinds due to the escalation of trade war, which has impacted the economy including the riots protest in Hong Kong.
“I foresee a bit of headwinds in the motor business but so far our business is faring quite well.
“We are truly multinational company as 85 per cent of our businesses are in overseas.
“We have strong business relationships with principles like Caterpillar for 90 years and BMW for 47 years with dealership and car assembly,” he said.