Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Major shake-up for Surbana Corp

The Straits Times  |  APRIL 02, 2013
Firm, hived off from HDB, to be split into its two constituent businesses

Surbana Corp, which started life as the Housing Board's building and development division, is getting a major shake-up.

The property and consultancy company, hived off from the HDB in 2003, will be split into its two constituent businesses.

The consultancy business will be given greater freedom to pursue growth locally and abroad, with former CapitaLand chief executive Liew Mun Leong appointed non-executive chairman.

And Surbana's property business will be absorbed into the China arm of CapitaLand.

The restructuring was announced yesterday by Surbana's substantial shareholder CapitaLand, which recently had its own major restructuring.

Surbana Land's chief executive Puah Tze Shyang will stay at the helm of the residential development business and will report to CapitaLand China's chief executive Jason Leow.

"The integration of the residential development business into CapitaLand China will enable us to reap synergistic benefits," said CapitaLand's chief executive Lim Ming Yan in a statement. "China is one of our core markets, with a portfolio accounting for $13.4 billion, or 39 per cent of the group's total assets, as at end-2012."

Surbana Land's developments are all in China, and are mainly residential properties, along with accompanying retail properties and general amenities. It has projects in the cities of Wuxi, Xi'an, Shenyang and Chengdu.

Mr Liew is taking on the key role of non-executive chairman of the consultancy business, Surbana International Consultants. He stepped down as CapitaLand's chief executive at the start of the year, replaced by Mr Lim.

He will work alongside the consultancy's new chief executive Pang Yee Ean, who was appointed to the role this year. He was formerly at Ascendas.

Surbana International Consultants also announced plans to break into new sectors in Singapore and expand its presence in the key markets of China, the Middle East, South-east Asia, Africa and Latin America.

This is part of its aim to achieve rapid growth and become a leading building and infrastructure consultancy in the region.

Mr Pang said his company is keen to expand into the infrastructural sector in Singapore to drive its business growth, given the major projects in the pipeline.

Surbana became a company - essentially, hived off from the Government - in 2003, as a business offering building consultancy solutions, including on architecture, engineering, construction management, coastal engineering and urban planning.

Surbana International Consultants is also the primary consultant for Singapore's land reclamation projects, securing many private residential, commercial and industrial projects in recent years.

The shareholding structure will change with this restructuring of Surbana.

Previously, CapitaLand held 40 per cent of Surbana Corp, with state-owned investment company Temasek Holdings owning the other 60 per cent. Surbana Corp in turn held both property development and consultancy businesses.

Now, CapitaLand will directly hold 40 per cent of Surbana Land. Temasek will hold the rest. CapitaLand and Temasek will also directly hold Surbana International Consultants, in the same proportion.

CapitaLand recently underwent its own major restructuring. The property giant at the start of the year said its businesses would be streamlined into four main units: CapitaLand Singapore, CapitaLand China, CapitaMalls Asia and The Ascott.

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

Senior Sales Director
DTZ Property Network Pte Ltd (L3007960A)
Email: marshe_inc@yahoo.com.sg

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