Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Insiders of Alexandra developer took 11 units

They bought before launch but not at special terms: Chip Eng Seng

The Straits Times
February 4, 2013

EXECUTIVE directors of Alexandra Central's developer Chip Eng Seng bought retail units at the project before its launch two weeks ago.

Some directors and their family members bought 11 units in all at the mixed development, Chip Eng Seng told the Singapore Exchange (SGX) on Thursday.

They spent about $16.7 million for the units, which were a mix of shops and restaurants.

The Straits Times understands that these units were selected by the executive directors before the Jan 21 official launch.

Chip Eng Seng told the SGX that the executive directors "enjoyed no more favourable purchase terms than were available to third-party buyers".

It added that its audit committee had reviewed the sale terms and decided that they were fair, reasonable and "not prejudicial to the interests of the company and its minority shareholders".

Buyers at the launch had to take part in a ballot due to overwhelming demand for the 99-year leasehold project. Out of the 116 units available, 114 were sold by the end of the day.

The executive directors paid around $7,200 per sq ft (psf) to $7,800 psf for units on the first floor and $5,400 psf to $5,500 psf for those on the second.

Units on the third floor were mostly sold to them at prices from $4,300 psf to $4,500 psf, with the exception of a small unit that went for $3,600 psf.

That unit was sold to two sisters of Chip Eng Seng group chief executive Raymond Chia's. The sisters are not on the board.

The price range roughly fits the $4,000 psf to $8,000 psf range indicated by a spokesman from Chip Eng Seng unit CEL Development on the launch day.

The executive directors who bought units at Alexandra Central, which is next to furniture retailer Ikea on Alexandra Road, were Mr Lim Tiam Seng, Mr Lim Tiang Chuan and Madam Dawn Lim Sock Kiang.These three abstained from the board's review and approval process for the sale, Chip Eng Seng said.

Mr Lim Tiam Seng is executive chairman of Chip Eng Seng. He spent nearly $5.5 million on two third-floor units, in joint purchases with his wife and son.

Mr Lim Tiang Chuan, who is deputy executive chairman and Mr Lim Tiam Seng's brother, bought one $1.7 million restaurant unit on the second floor with his wife.

Madam Lim, who is Mr Lim Tiam Seng's daughter, spent almost $3.3 million in total on three small shop units on the first floor with her husband.

Other members of the Lim family not on the Chip Eng Seng board also bought units.

Madam Lim Sock Joo, Madam Dawn Lim's sister, bought a $2.3 million restaurant space on the first floor, and a small shop on the third floor for $694,000.

Mr Lim Tian Moh, a director of a Chip Eng Seng unit, bought two shops on the first and second storey for $2.6 million in all.

Meanwhile, some buyers of Alexandra Central are already trying to make a quick buck by flipping their units, according to media reports.

At least 19 retail units sold at the launch appeared to be on the market again within six days, The Business Times said on Monday.

Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C

Senior Sales Director
DTZ Property Network Pte Ltd (L3007960A)

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