iFast Corp has maintained its guidance for FY2023 to FY2025 for now, even though recent reports that the Hong Kong ePension platform's roll out schedule has fallen behind by eight months.
According to the Hong Kong Provident Fund, the Hong Kong pension platform is still aimed to be up and running by end of 2025.
The platform’s main contractor is Hong Kong’s communication technology firm, PCCW Solutions, owned by Richard Li, son of tycoon Li Ka Shing. PCCW Solutions said the delay was caused by manpower shortage amid the pandemic. iFast is a subcontractor appointed to help build the platform.
As the largest public retirement scheme in Hong Kong with some 4.5 million members, the fund manages some HK$1.05 trillion (US$134.6 billion) of assets. The ePension platform is to help cut administrative costs by more than half.
As indicated by iFast last April, it had targeted profit before tax of more than HK$100 million from this Hong Kong project in 2023; more than HK$250 million in 2024 and more than HK$500 million in 2025.
According to iFast on Jan 14, this initial guidance was based on the expectation that operations of the ePension division will commence in 4Q2023, and has provided for a certain period of delay in the rollout of the ePension project.
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“Based on the various available information at this point in time, the group continues to expect to see contributions from the ePension division to commence in 4Q2023 as per the initial guidance,” reads the announcement issued in the name of chairman and CEO Lim Chung Chun.
“The group will provide further updates when more details are available,” he adds.
iFast shares closed Jan 13 at $5.86, up 0.34% for the day, and down 23.7% over the past 12 months.