The Business Times

Is Singapore Inc selling off its iconic brands too easily?

Published Thu, Nov 26, 2015 · 09:50 PM
Share this article.

THE possible sale of Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) has raised some ire in corporate circles. Are we losing our "crown jewels" - iconic companies and assets that have stood and served Singapore well in the past?

The sale of Raffles Hotel in 2005 to Colony Capital, an investment firm based in Los Angeles, raised some consternation among some locals who screamed that Raffles Hotel was as local as chilli crab. And CPG, the former Public Works Department (PWD), was unloaded to Australian- based engineering giant Downer EDI for S$131 million in 2003.

Both Raffles Hotel and CPG have since been resold to new owners. CPG has been sold to China Architecture Design and Research, a Chinese state-owned architecture and design institute. And the new owner of Raffles Hotel is Qatar National Hotels Company, which is ultimately owned by the Qatar government.

BT is now on Telegram!

For daily updates on weekdays and specially selected content for the weekend. Subscribe to



Get the latest coverage and full access to all BT premium content.


Browse corporate subscription here