Amara Seeks To Go Private

I caught up with Amara CEO Albert Teo over coffee at his hotel’s Element Restaurant, a place that holds fond memories. He helped me organise my eldest child’s first birthday in the restaurant some years back. Recently, Albert teamed up with PE fund Dymon Asia to privatise Amara at an offer price of S$0.60 per … Read more

From Blue Pool to Green Fingers

Before Joseph Schooling, there was Desmond Koh. I first met Des after he hung up his speedos 25 years back. The three-time Olympian, who once held four national records, was also a Rhodes Scholar. Since his retirement from the pool, he has been navigating the currents of finance and we were, for a brief moment … Read more

Meeting 2nd Chance on 2nd Jan

Great catching up with Salleh Marican, founder and CEO of Second Chance Properties. While many recall his attempt at the presidential race in 2017, those of my vintage would also remember the iconic Second Chance pants from the 1980s. Since then, he has amassed a portfolio of properties and investments valued at nearly S$400 million. … Read more

From Coffee To Property

Last week, it was reported that David Teo bought Serene Centre, a mixed-use development in Bukit Timah, for S$105 million through his family office Apricot Capital. He is best known as the controlling shareholder of Super Group, which owns the ubiquitous Super Coffee and Owl coffee brands. Super is one of the top coffee players … Read more

Losing A Friendly Wager

I made a friendly bet with Han Khim Siew, CEO of OUE Commercial REIT. Both of us were convinced we were the elder of the two. Han had a lot on his plate when he assumed the chief executive role early last year. The REIT owns a number of prized assets in hospitality (Hilton Orchard, … Read more

En-Bloc King’s Latest Venture Takes Off

Meet “en-bloc king” Karamjit Singh. He brokered Singapore’s largest en-bloc deal – the S$1.338 billion sale of Farrer Court in 2007. CapitaLand emerged as the buyer, and it transformed the expansive site (840k sq ft) into D’Leedon. What made this accomplishment more astonishing was the fact that Karamjit was not from a globally recognised brand … Read more

Disruptor Takes On A Fresh Role

Tan Chin Hwee has a penchant for disrupting his life. In 2015, he retired as the founding partner of Apollo Global Management, where he earned recognition as the Best Asia Hedge Fund Manager. After 20 years of managing money, he went on to manage people at Trafigura as its Asia-Pacific CEO. After 8 years, Chin … Read more

Japan Trailblazer

Singapore investors have been actively snapping up Japanese properties this year, surpassing all other countries with over US$3 billion. This surge comes as Japan’s economy and property market show signs of revival. Jeremy Yong was ahead of his time, making a big bet on Japan over a decade ago when he founded Croesus Retail Trust, … Read more

Comm Chest Chair Can’t Sit Still

Congrats Chew Sutat and Community Chest team for raising $16.7m last night! I recall having coffee with Sutat on his last day as Senior Managing Director at SGX in 2021. I could have sworn he told me that he was going to take it easy. Two years on, this hardly seems the case. Other than … Read more

Turning Around… Almost

Melvin Ang, chairman of entertainment company mm2 Asia, went through some really tough times. Covid affected all of mm2’s business lines – film production, concert and cinema. It bled the most with cinema, having spent almost S$200m on Cathay in 2017, only to see the valuation slide more than half. It is in the midst … Read more