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SPH & Quicken launch finance portal joint venture

Singapore, Feb 29 Asia Pulse - AsiaOne, the Internet arm of Singapore Press Holdings, has entered a joint venture with software house Quicken to build an e-finance portal in Asia. The 50/50 venture was sealed between Reckon Limited, publisher of Quicken software in Asia Pacific and owner of quicken.

Singapore, Feb 29 Asia Pulse - AsiaOne, the Internet arm of Singapore Press Holdings, has entered a joint venture with software house Quicken to build an e-finance portal in Asia.

The 50/50 venture was sealed between Reckon Limited, publisher of Quicken software in Asia Pacific and owner of quicken.com.au, and SPH AsiaOne Ltd. The new company, Singapore-registered AsiaOne Reckon Pte Ltd, will have authorised capital of $SG12 million in the first year.

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) said AsiaOne Quicken was well positioned to be the leading eFinance portal to offer an enriching experience to online communities. "With its complete spectrum of personal financial information, tools, services and transactions, the services offered which include investment, banking, insurance and property will be localised to suit the needs of the market," SPH told the Singapore Exchange.

The website www.asiaone.quicken.com.sg will be launched in early April, 2000. Singapore is the choice launch base for expansion into the Asia region with Hong Kong the next market. A Boston Consultant Group study indicated that consumer spending in Singapore on the Net leapt from $US22 million in 1998 to $US83 million last year, an increase of 281 per cent. AsiaOne Quicken would rollout to other markets including Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines in the next 18 months.

"Our plan is to establish a dominant presence here to define and lead eFinance trends," said Dai-Kyu Kim, Managing Director of Quicken Online, S.E. Asia & Australasia, now the new CEO of AsiaOne Quicken. "We believe that what we can bring to this JV is our proven capability and flexibility in developing and delivering integrated solutions to meet customers' financial needs, as demonstrated by Quicken's popularity in the US and Australia." Low Huan Ping, CEO of SPH's AsiaOne, said the teaming with Quicken added further bandwidth to each other's strengths.

"I am confident that our close working relationship with Quicken will dramatically strengthen AsiaOne Quicken's position as a high quality, customer-centric domain reaching critical masses throughout Asia," said Mr Low, who is also the Chairman of AsiaOne Quicken.