Singapore's MediaCorp. takes Vietnam plunge


SINGAPORE -- Dominant Singapore media conglomerate MediaCorp. will establish a new television channel with Vietnamese government-owned broadcaster the Vietnam Multimedia Corp. and other local partners, the company said Thursday.

The investment -- MediaCorp's first in Vietnam -- comes via a 20% stake in a newly established Vietnamese media company, International Media Corp. (IMC), which will also develop and produce entertainment and economic news content and provide channel management services. The channel will launch in the second half of the year.

IMC is a joint venture with Vietnamese advertising agency FS Communications, confectionery company Kinh Do Corp. and a group of unnamed Vietnamese businessmen, MediaCorp. said.

Financial details were not disclosed.

MediaCorp. chief executive Lucas Chow said that Vietnam's advertising market had been growing by 20%-30% a year.

"We also see this as the beachhead for more opportunities as we begin to participate actively in this market," Chow said.

With its domestic market being eroded by competing media platforms, regional expansion is a cornerstone of MediaCorp's strategy.

Last week, the company announced the acquisition of a 23% stake in Chinese outdoor advertising company Dahe Media Co., worth a minimum of $11 million. This follows a $183 million investment in Indonesian media company, PT Media Nusantara Citra, last year.