April 22, 2014 7:21 pm JST

Singapore's Sembcorp boosts properties business, revives dormant subsidiary

TOMOMI KIKUCHI, Nikkei Staff Writer

SINGAPORE -- Sembcorp Industries, a major government-affiliated conglomerate, is reviving Sembcorp Properties to act as a residential and commercial property development arm. Sembcorp Properties will focus mainly on residential and commercial developments in existing industrial and business parks in China.

     The conglomerate is trying to make urban development one of its major businesses, next to utilities and marine operations.

     According to an article in Singapore's Business Times on Tuesday, Sembcorp Properties will operate under Sembcorp Development, a subsidiary that manages master planning, land preparation and infrastructure development for overseas projects. The parent firm confirmed the information.

     Sembcorp Properties' first two projects will be building residential developments in hi-tech industrial and business areas in the provinces of Sichuan and Jiangsu. Sembcorp Development CEO Kelvin Teo told Singapore reporters that Sembcorp Properties will begin operating in the not "too far off" future. He also mentioned that residential and commercial construction projects will help the group to convince more partners to join up.

     The conglomerate's urban development business constituted about 6% of the group's net profit in 2013. Teo told the Business Times that he sees the urban development arm generating a three-digit net profit by 2020, up from about 50 million Singapore dollars (US$40 million) last year.