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HK's Millennium Group Forms 50/50 JV With US CyberCash
Wednesday, February 23, 2000 03:27 AM

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Hong Kong-listed Millennium Group Ltd. (H.MNM, news, msgs) has formed a 50/50 joint venture with U.S.-based CyberCash Inc. (CYCH, news, msgs) to provide Internet payment services in Asia, the companies said Wednesday.

The joint venture will be called CyberCash Asia Pacific Ltd. No financial details were given, but the new company plans to invest at least HK$100 million within the next three years on an electronic-commerce payment system.

The companies also said they hope to list the Asian venture in Hong Kong or Singapore by early 2001.

"Within this year, we also plan to set up CyberCash subsidiaries in China, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Australia," said Benjamin Lee, managing director of CyberCash Asia Pacific.

Like Nasdaq-listed CyberCash Inc., the new venture company offers merchants online payment services as well as software products for merchants to run their own Internet payment systems.

The two different business arms are expected to contribute half of the company's revenue each, Lee said, declining to give concrete forecasts.

"However, the next two years will be our investment period, and we believe we can break even or even make a profit by the third year," Lee said.

Merchants using CyberCash's Internet payment services will have to pay an account setup fee. Subsequent charges typically amount to 1% to 2% of the value of the transaction, Lee said.

CyberCash counts Bank of America, American Express, Master and VISA as some of the financial institutions with which it works in partnership.

The U.S. company reported revenue of US$19.4 million in 1999, up 211% from US$9.2 million in 1998.

George Pappas , executive vice president of CyberCash, said Millenium Group is a good fit for the venture because the latter has "a good network of relations and investments in the region."

Pappas, however, declined to comment who initiated the joint venture: "Let's say we found each other," he said.

Quote for referenced ticker symbols: CYCH
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