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SingPost-Alibaba deal dragging on

A joint venture with Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba is dragging on as more time is needed to work on the deal, SingPost says in its fourth-quarter earnings report to the Singapore stock exchange.

While the Singpost-Alibaba agreement was signed in July, both parties have agreed to extend the longstop date from May 31 to October 31.

Alibaba agreed last year to increase its equity investment in the postal and logistics group by buying new shares equivalent to a 5 per cent stake. Now the deadline is being extended for the third time, following extensions in November then February.

Alibaba also agreed to acquire a 34 per cent stake in SingPost logistics unit Quantium Solutions International last year. This deal will also be finalised by the end of October because of new business opportunities arising from related investments, says SingPost.

On the back of one-off divestment gains, Singapore Post has reported a fourth-quarter net profit of S$105.4 million (US$76.9 million), up 196.4 per cent from the same period last year. But underlying net profit in the three months ended March 31 fell 20.1 per cent to S$31.8 million, mainly because of a drop in rental income as redevelopment of the Singapore Post Centre mall started.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 27.7 per cent to S$317.6 million, boosted by growth in eCommerce-related activities and contributions from newly acquired business units.

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