SINGAPORE (June 11): SGX lists at least 24 companies and two trusts associated with seven business empires run by some of Singapore’s richest families. These home-grown companies and/or conglomerates on SGX have a combined market capitalisation of more than $100 billion. They belong to the Wee, Kwek, Ng, Kuok, Koh, Goi and Chua families, with many of the patriarchs being ranked among the city-state’s richest people.

SGX also lists at least 18 companies and eight trusts associated with five foreign family empires – three Indonesian, one Thai and one British – with a combined market capitalisation of more than $200 billion. The Indonesian business empires are associated with the Widjaja, Riady and Salim families, while Thai corporate ownership is represented by the Sirivadhanabhakdis, and the Jardine Group of companies is controlled by the Scottish/British Keswick family.

The combined market cap of these 50 companies/trusts account for nearly one-third of the total market capitalisation on Singapore Exchange. Their businesses range from banking and finance, hospitality, real estate development and investment (including REITs), to leisure, retail, food and beverage, agriculture, commodities, utilities, shipping and healthcare.

Among these 50 companies and trusts, four companies and one REIT have clocked consistently strong performances over three consecutive calendar years (2018, 2017 and 2016), while registering low volatility levels – below the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) average of 23%.

Historical volatility refers to price fluctuations exhibited by a stock over time. The 260-day price volatility equals the annualised standard deviation of the relative price change for the 260 most recent trading days’ closing price, expressed as a percentage.

Haw Par Corp averaged a total return of +16.7% over the last three years and a 260-day volatility of 7.9%, while Jardine Matheson Holdings averaged a three-year total return of +14.2% and volatility of 20.0%. Frasers Centrepoint Trust, which averaged a +12.0% total return over the past three years, registered volatility of 12.4%. Ho Bee Land and First Sponsor Group averaged three-year total returns of +9.4% and +5.5% respectively, with 260-day volatility levels of 16.8% and 21.4% respectively.

The table below details the four companies and one trust that have registered positive total returns over three consecutive calendar years with low 260-day volatility levels.

Highlights of some of Singapore and Asia’s wealthiest families:

Frasers Centrepoint Trust

  • The REIT is part of Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi’s (main image) stable of companies/trusts. Charoen, the founder and chairman of Thai beverage and real estate conglomerate TCC Group, was ranked by Forbes as Thailand’s fourth-richest man in 2018, with a net worth of US$17.4 billion.
  • A number of privately held companies in which Charoen and his wife Khunying Wanna jointly hold stakes, are substantial shareholders in various SGX-listed companies/trusts – Thai Beverage, Fraser and Neave, and Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust, Frasers Commercial Trust, Frasers Hospitality Trust and Frasers Property.
Ho Bee Land

  • Chua Thian Poh, ranked by Forbes as Singapore’s 23rd richest man in 2018 with a net worth of US$1.5 billion, founded Ho Bee Land in 1987. The developer, known for luxury homes in the exclusive residential enclave of Sentosa Cove, was listed on SGX Mainboard in 1999.
  • Chua has a deemed interest of 75.0% in Ho Bee Land, according to the company’s latest annual report. He and his son, Nicholas, hold positions on the company’s board.
Haw Par Corp

  • The company, which has businesses in leisure and healthcare and is known for producing the iconic Tiger Balm ointment, is part of banking and property magnate Wee Cho Yaw’s stable of companies.
  • Wee was ranked Singapore’s sixth richest person in 2018 by Forbes, with a total net worth of US$6.4 billion. In Forbes’ 2019 list of global billionaires, Wee takes the 267th spot.
  • Wee is the largest shareholder and Chairman Emeritus of Singapore’s third-largest lender by assets, United Overseas Bank. Apart from UOB and Haw Par, Wee and his sons also own stakes in SGX-listed United Overseas Insurance, UOL Group, UOB-Kay Hian Holdings and United Industrial Corp.
Jardine Matheson

  • Simon Keswick is the fourth-generation descendant of William Keswick, who founded the Keswick family dynasty that was linked to the Jardines Group by marriage. Of Scottish origin, the Keswick dynasty has been associated with the Far East since the 1850s, while Jardine, Matheson & Co was founded in China, in the 1830s by Scotsmen William Jardine and James Matheson.
  • Incorporated in Bermuda and headquartered in Hong Kong, Jardine Matheson has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and secondary listings on SGX and the Bermuda Stock Exchange. The group’s portfolio of businesses across Asia Pacific includes engineering, construction, auto dealerships, insurance services, property, hospitality, consumer goods. It is a constituent of Singapore’s benchmark STI.
  • Jardine Strategic Holdings is a substantial shareholder in Jardine Cycle & Carriage, Hongkong Land, Mandarin Oriental, Dairy Farm and Jardine Matheson. The latter in turn is a major shareholder of Jardine Strategic.

First Sponsor Group

  • The developer of residential and commercial properties in China and The Netherlands is part of the stable of companies owned by property and hotel mogul Kwek Leng Beng.
  • Kwek was ranked Singapore’s 4th richest man in 2018 by Forbes, with a net worth of US$7.6 billion. In Forbes’ 2019 list of global billionaires, he took 745th position.
  • Kwek is Executive Chairman of City Developments and Executive Director of Hong Leong Finance. His son, Sherman, is City Developments’ Group CEO, while nephew Eik Sheng is its Group Chief Strategy Officer. Another son, Kingston, is Non-Executive Director of First Sponsor.