Reply To: None
Saturday, 27 May 2000 at 4:44 AM EDT
Post # of 67896
27May2000 CHINA: Hartcourt Companies To Broadcast Financial TV News Program In
By K. Maxwell Murphy
NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)-Hartcourt Cos. (HRCT) wants to be the "CNBC" of China.
The company - once an importer of Argentine cigarettes, a maker of pen and writing tools
and an environmental engineering and management firm - is trying to build a network of
Internet and telecommunications services in China and Hong Kong.
On Thursday, Hartcourt announced that one of its subsidiaries has teamed up with China
Cable Networks to provide financial news to "80 million Chinese cable TV subscribers
across all Chinese provinces and cities." Under the multi-year alliance, Hartcourt's
Shanghai Guo Mao Financial Corp. unit will develop content, including real-time market
data and commentary, the company's press release said.
Hartcourt President, Chairman and Chief Executive Alan V. Phan told Dow Jones
Newswires that his company is hiring six anchormen and will broadcast Monday through
Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. China time, beginning on or about Aug. 1.
Phan eventually would like the network to be a 24-hour operation, but he said that
advertising and revenue will be low at first, and expansion will take time.
The broadcast looks to emulate the distinctive style of CNBC-TV, Phan said, with
streaming quotes and interviews with the CEOs of various Chinese concerns.
In addition, Phan said the Chinese government previously granted Hartcourt exclusive
rights to set up an English-language, subscription Web site where investors could go to
access legal company filings, similar to the Securities & Exchange Commission's filings
database at www.freeedgar.com.
StreamingAsia.com, a unit of SinoBull.com, is set to launch the English-language site in
September, Phan said. SinoBull.com is a financial Web site in which Hartcourt has a
48% controlling interest.
Since it will be subscriber-based, Phan said he expects the site to generate "huge"
revenue soon after its debut.
It had better.
Included in the company's latest quarterly report, filed with the SEC March 15 and
amended March 17, is a going concern note from the independent auditor.
The note cited first-quarter 2000 losses of almost $1.7 million, or 6 cents a share,
compared with first-quarter 1999 losses of almost $250,000. As of March 31, the note
says, the company's liabilities exceeded its assets by $640,201.
Phan said that the $1.37 million in cash assets Hartcourt reported at the end of March will
keep it afloat until it becomes profitable, which will "definitely" be next year, he said. In
fact, Phan said the company hopes to break even this year.
In the third quarter, Phan said, money-making ventures resulting from recent acquisitions
will begin being reflected in the company's earnings and in its sales.
Hartcourt's first-quarter sales were $348,228.
Hartcourt shares, traded on the over-the-counter Bulletin Board, ended Friday trading at 6
3/8, up 1/16, after gaining 17% Thursday. They rose as high as $20.50 in December,
from a 52-week low of 25 cents last June.
Company and unit Web sites: http:/www.hartcourt.com
-K. Maxwell Murphy; Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-5173;
(Copyright (c) 2000, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.).
Source: DOW JONES NEWS SERVICE 27/05/2000