SINGAPORE (Dec 10): Following a strategic review of its various businesses, Tiong Seng Holdings says it will carve out a new engineering solutions arm and reorganise its management structure.

At present, Tiong Seng operates two main subsidiaries. These are construction unit Tiong Seng Contractors (TSC) and property development arm Chang De Investments (CDI). The other subsidiaries include Robin Village Development, Robin Village International and Steeltech Industries.

Following the review, certain subsidiaries from TSC will be carved out to form a new engineering arm dubbed Tiong Seng Engineering Solutions (TSES) which will help management sharpen its focus and allocate resources towards the specialised subsidiaries.

In a Monday night regulatory filing, Tiong Seng says TSES will be led by Eric Yang who has worked with the group in various capacities since 2000 -- one of them being the iconic Resorts World Sentosa joint-venture project with Kajima Overseas Asia.

As group general manager, Yang will help strengthen the management of the group’s specialised subsidiaries under TSES.

"In addition, Yang will work towards establishing the TSES brand, focus on yielding synergies from the various subsidiaries, whilst prospecting for overseas opportunities to scale the business," says Tiong Seng in its regulatory filing.

Tiong Seng is one of the largest and most established construction companies in Singapore. It was previously in the news for its push to adopt pre-fabrication construction methods as a way to improve labour productivity that has dogged the sector.

For the 9MFY2019 ended Sept 30, the group reported 41.3% lower earnings of $4 million, or 0.9 cent per share, compared to the corresponding nine-month period a year ago. Revenue fell 3.7% to $264.6 million.

As for the change in management structure, Tiong Seng says it will form an executive committee to strengthen its capacity in managing the units. The committee will consist of group chief executive and executive director Pek Lian Guan, group executive director Pay Sim Tee, group financial officer Ken Choo, and manager for business development Pek Zhi Kai.

On top of strengthening management decision-making processes and governance of various units, the committee will help the group improve the growth trajectories of CDI and TSES.

On Sept 16, Tiong Seng reported its group CEO and a project director were being investigated by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

See: Tiong Seng CEO Pek Lian Guan under CPIB probe

The group said Pek, who has worked in the construction company since 1990, was interviewed by CPIB on Sept 12. In addition, the group's project director Pay Teow Heng was also interviewed by the bureau on Sept 11.

The interviews were said to be in connected with certain staff loan transactions entered into by TSC.

The group also stressed that both Pek and Pay were out on bail and that no charges had been filed.

Year to date, shares in Tiong Seng are down nearly 29% to 20 cents, giving it a market cap of $89 million.