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New Silkroutes, CG Capital Partners in joint venture to offer asset management services

MAINBOARD-LISTED New Silkroutes Group (NSG) - known formerly as Digiland - has through its investment arm New Silkroutes Capital Pte Ltd formed a joint venture (JV) company with New York-based investment bank CG Capital Partners LLC to offer asset management services.

This comes as part of NSG's business transformation efforts to evolve from a distributor of IT and electronic products into an investment company, NSG chief executive Goh Jin Hian told BT on Wednesday.

The new JV company, Delaware-registered New Silkroutes Capital LLC, will be 70 per cent owned by New Silkroutes Capital Pte Ltd and 30 per cent owned by CG Capital.

For a start, it will target Asian institutional and private investors, and launch dedicated asset-management funds in four key verticals: infocomm technology (ICT, with a focus on security and governance); energy and resources; healthcare; and real estate.

"Singapore is well-positioned to tap Asian investors; and sectors like healthcare are increasingly relevant given Asia's ageing population," said Dr Goh, also chairman of New Silkroutes Capital's board of directors. Sean Rice, managing partner of CG Capital, is managing partner of New Silkroutes Capital in the Americas.

The JV will offer sophisticated structured financial products, to which Asian investors are accustomed but otherwise do not have access, Dr Goh added. It will also invest in a portfolio of US-dollar, euro and yuan-denominated structured products such as equity-linked derivatives and indices, and eventually expand to serve investors from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Both the New York and Singapore offices of New Silkroutes Capital LLC will commence operations in March 2016. Its international units are slated to roll out progressively in 2016 across London, Malta, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur.

On Wednesday, New Silkroutes Capital Pte Ltd said that it has acquired investment holding company Grand Wood Group Limited, which will subscribe for 700 Class A Units representing 70 per cent membership interest in New Silkroutes Capital LLC for US$500,000.

The new JV comes two months after 91 "error trades" involving 52.3 million NSG shares were cancelled by the Singapore Exchange (SGX), having been mistakenly matched at around 1.5 Singapore cents on the first day the company was trading following a consolidation of every 500 shares into one. Based on NSG's previous day closing price of 0.1 Singapore cent, each of its new shares should have been worth 50 Singapore cents. The SGX has since said that it will introduce added safeguards for the trading of newly consolidated shares.

On Wednesday, NSG shares ended trading one Singapore cent lower at S$0.50.