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Temasek's Heliconia wants to help Singapore firms go global

A man walks past one of the Jumbo Group of food and beverage outlets in Singapore on Nov 9, 2015.

[SINGAPORE] Heliconia Capital Management, owned by Singapore's Temasek Holdings, wants to help local firms, such as the operator of a chain of chili-crab restaurants whose shares debuted on Monday (Nov 9), in their global expansion.

Jumbo Group surged in its trading debut after selling shares in the country's biggest initial public offering this year to investors including Heliconia and Osim International's chairman Ron Sim. The shares rose as much as 58 per cent to an intraday high of 39.5 Singapore cents. Jumbo sold the shares at 25 Singapore cents.

"For Heliconia, our mandate is to identify and support Singapore-headquartered companies to be globally competitive companies," chief executive officer Derek Lau said in an interview at the listing ceremony. "We'll continue with a steady pace of investment."

Heliconia took a S$10 million holding in Jumbo's IPO, according to a stock exchange filing by the restaurant operator. It has invested in about nine companies focused on urbanisation and the growing middle class, said Mr Lau, a former managing director of investment at Temasek.

"We're careful," he said. "We have no set targets; it depends on when the opportunities arise. There's no fixed formula. We need the stars to be aligned. Obviously the companies themselves must see the value that Heliconia can bring."

Jumbo, which also operates restaurants offering pork rib soup, or bak kut teh, and ramen noodles, serves more than 6,000 customers daily, according to its website. The restaurant operator will open at least four more outlets in China and Singapore within the next two years, according to its filing.