13 Jul '11, 12am

Our reader asks if it's about time the Govt regulates the level of profits that SMRT and SBS can make. #farehike

BARELY has the sound of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's promise to address cost of living issues faded, and here we are already seeing companies seeking to increase fares ('Transport operators seek fare increase'; yesterday). SMRT recently announced its financial results, which showed revenue growing 8.3 per cent year on year to $969.7 million. The company's net profit margin was 16.6 per cent while its return on equity was 20.5 per cent. SBS Transit also saw an increase in revenue and profit. As an investor, I would be delighted with these numbers. But as an ordinary Singaporean, I am far from pleased as I rely heavily on public transport and any fare hike will hit households like mine hard. Companies which provide a social commodity, such as public transport firms, should not function with profit maximisation as their prime objective. But, as publicly listed companies, ...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/STForum/OnlineStory/STIStory_...

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