Media Asia parent hit by credit crunch

Film company hits snag in movie market

HONG KONG — Half-year results for Esun group, the parent of Hong Kong film major Media Asia, showed the effects of the credit crunch and problems accessing the mainland Chinese movie market.

For the six months ended in June, Esun lost HK$102 million ($13.1 million) vs. a profit of $68.2 million in the year-earlier period, during which the group booked $64 million in disposal gains.

After the January release of “The Assembly,” Media Asia may not be able to release another film this year.

“Due to limited timeslots suitable and/or available for any film promotional campaigns prior to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, newly produced films of Media Asia have to reschedule or delay,” the company said in a statement.

Esun said it and its partners in Cyber One Agents have already put up $200 million to get the Studio City casino and entertainment venue under way but that plans to put in a further $300 million — of which $180 million would come from Esun subsid East Asia Television — are on hold due to the credit crunch.

“Current poor sentiments of global capital markets make it difficult for the group to ascertain the exact timing when the financing for the construction of phase one of the Macao Studio City project may be realized,” it said.

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