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SingHaiyi's Celine Tang becomes Chip Eng Seng chairman

SINGHAIYI Group managing director Celine Tang is now also construction company Chip Eng Seng Corp's new chairman, after becoming its largest shareholder on Oct 5.

Mrs Tang, who also goes by Chen Huaidan, was named to the post on Thursday, said a filing on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) website. She was also appointed non-executive, non-independent director.

Executive director and deputy chairman Lim Tiang Chuan - an "uncle-in-law" of Chip Eng Seng chief executive Raymond Chia Lee Meng - stepped down on the same day "due to pursuit of personal interest", and will quit as director of various subsidiaries by Dec 31.

Dawn Lim Sock Kiang, Mr Chia's sister-in-law, resigned as Chip Eng Seng's executive director but will stay on as director of company subsidiaries.

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The board said in the filing that it believes that Mrs Tang's appointment would help it in setting direction and strategic planning for the company, based on her work experience and qualifications.

Mrs Tang fuelled rabid speculation about a potential takeover offer when she scooped up a 29.73 per cent stake from the family of Chip Eng Seng founder Lim Tiam Seng at a market-premium price of S$1.08 a share and holds most of those shares jointly with her husband, Gordon.

Meanwhile, Lock Wai Han was appointed an independent and non-executive director of Chip Eng Seng.

Mr Lock, who used to head CapitaMalls Asia (China) and Rowsley, is chief executive of OKH Global - a company that also has links to Mr and Mrs Tang.

The Tangs picked up a 44.3 per cent stake in OKH in 2016 through the issuance of new shares at a discount to the market price. Mrs Tang has been the non-executive chairman since October 2016, after spending about three months as its CEO.