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Winners of the 22nd Singapore Business Awards Property honchos clinch two of four accolades

SINGAPORE, 9 March 2007 - One carved a niche in developing quality housing by the sea in Singapore; the other made his mark overseas in award-winning residential developments in China. Self-made entrepreneur Chua Thian Poh of Ho Bee Investment and corporate chief extraordinaire Lim Ming Yan of Capitaland China clinched the Businessman of the Year and Outstanding Chief / Senior Executive of the Year (Overseas) honours respectively for this year´s Singapore Business Awards, say award organisers, The Business Times and DHL.

Together with Outstanding CEO of the Year winner Sunny Verghese of Olam International and The Enterprise Award winner Inter-Roller Engineering, these four will join the ranks of the exceptional few who have been conferred Singapore’s most prestigious business accolades.

Businessman of the Year

Mr Chua Thian Poh, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ho Bee Investment Limited

From a trading firm dealing in office equipment, electronic products, home appliances and sundry goods to one of Singapore’s up-and-coming property developers, Ho Bee Investment ’s success in the unpredictable real estate business is undoubtedly the achievement of its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Chua Thian Poh.

Mr Chua, 58, is known for his astute reading of the property market and it is this attribute that guided him to lead Ho Bee Investment to bet on the future of Sentosa Cove - one of the first developers to do so, by bidding aggressively and snapping up a condominium site and a terrace housing site at the maiden land tender. To date, Ho Bee Investment has bought seven parcels of land in Sentosa and is developing projects that are sold-out or near sold-out and progressively contributing the bulk of revenue and profits to the company.

Under Mr Chua’s leadership, Ho Bee Investment has probably one of the highest exposures among Singapore residential developers to the sizzling luxury sector which is driving the property market’s recovery.

Citation: For his vision and outstanding entrepreneurial ability in transforming Ho Bee Investment Ltd into a builder of quality waterfront and water-themed homes, and in particular for his bold land purchases which have established the company as the biggest housing developer in Sentosa.

Outstanding CEO of the Year

Mr Sunny Verghese, Chief Executive Officer, Olam International Limited

Given the mandate in 1989 to start from scratch an agricultural products export business for the Olam Group, Chief Executive Officer Sunny Verghese, 47, rose to the challenge and delivered sterling results.

Over the last six years, the company grew revenues at a compounded 28 per cent and earnings at 31 per cent, and has achieved an impressive average return on capital of 35 per cent. Remarkable, considering an industry of agricultural raw materials that grows at roughly half the world’s GDP growth rates - a mere 2 per cent.

Today, Olam is a leading global supply chain manager of agricultural products and food ingredients, including cocoa, coffee, cashew, sheanuts, sesame, rice and teak wood. It operates an integrated supply chain for 14 products, sourcing from 12,000 collection points in over 52 countries of origin and delivering them to over 3,800 customers in 55 destination markets, with more than 6,300 employees worldwide.

Citation: For his exemplary leadership and vision in propelling Olam International Ltd from start-up in one country and with one product to a leading global supply chain manager of 14 products spanning 52 countries.

Outstanding Chief / Senior Executive of the Year (Overseas)

Mr Lim Ming Yan, Chief Executive Officer, Capitaland China Holdings Limited

To be twice-awarded the prestigious Magnolia Award by the Shanghai Municipal Government in 2003 and 2005 speaks a lot about Capitaland China Holdings’ Chief Executive Officer Lim Ming Yan. The Award honours foreigners living in the city who contribute significantly to Shanghai´s economic performance, international relations, business environment, management standards and community development.

Posted to Shanghai in 2000 to head Capitaland’s China operations, Mr Lim’s strong leadership enabled his company to gain wide brand recognition in China through its visibility in Shanghai where Capitaland is now among the top three international developers.

Capitaland’s projects in China have won numerous awards for strong sales and quality design. Its first Beijing residential development, La Foret, was accorded the "China Estate Master Plan Model Residential Project" in a competition organised by China’s Ministry of Construction. In addition, the La Cite condominium in Shanghai was ranked as one of Shanghai’s top 10 international quality residential developments, while another condominium in Shanghai - Oasis Riviera - was named the most popular residential project in 2004.

Citation: For his exemplary leadership and vision in establishing CapitaLand China Holdings as one of the biggest and most profitable foreign property players in China, in the process serving as a role model for Singaporeans working overseas.

The Enterprise Award

Inter-Roller Engineering Limited

Since its start-up days in 1979 with a mere 30 employees, Inter-Roller Engineering has grown from strength to strength. Over the years, the company has earned itself the reputation of a dependable provider for reliable airport logistics systems. Specialising in the design and building of systems for baggage handling, in-flight catering, air cargo and parcel handling, Inter-Roller Engineering has made significant inroads in the global market by focusing on achieving excellence in providing engineering solutions of the highest quality and standard.

Led by CEO Lim Yee Min who joined the company in 1981, Inter-Roller’s impeccable track record encompasses flagship baggage handling system projects in renowned international airports such as Changi Airport in Singapore, Chennai Anna International Airport in India, Brisbane Airport in Australia, Siem Reap Airport in Cambodia, Cairo International Airport in Egypt, Manchester Airport in the United Kingdom and the New Bangkok International Airport in Thailand.

In China, some of the airport baggage handling systems that bear the insignia of Inter-Roller includes Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport, Fuzhou Changle International Airport and Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, Qingdao Liuting International Airport, Zhengzhou International Airport and Huhehaote Baita International Airport.

Inter-Roller’s project order book stood at S$86 million at the end of 2006 and in January 2007, the company secured an additional S$28 million of new orders for projects in China, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia and North America.

Citation: For its enterprise and dynamism in establishing itself as a global and highly dependable provider of airport logistics systems, with more than 100 projects successfully implemented in 25 countries worldwide.

The winners will receive their awards from Minister for Transport Raymond Lim at a black-tie dinner this evening (9 March) at The Ritz Carlton Millenia, Singapore.

The annual Singapore Business Awards honour outstanding achievers in the Singapore business community, and is jointly organised by The Business Times, a business daily published by Singapore Press Holdings, and DHL, the world’s leading express and logistics company.

The winners are chosen by a panel of judges drawn from industry, official agencies and academia.

Mr Scott Price, Chief Executive Officer, DHL Express Asia Pacific, said: “DHL is exceptionally honoured to be associated with The Singapore Business Awards. The winners´ determination in overcoming the odds on their journey to becoming successful business leaders and achieving success in business resonates with DHL´s own ethos of going “All the Way” for our customers. I hope that the winners of this year´s awards will continue to serve as a source of inspiration to nascent entrepreneurs to bring forth an even brighter future for Singapore.”

The Chairman of the SBA organising committee and Editor of The Business Times, Alvin Tay, said that the panel of judges never fails to be impressed by the depth of talent that is evident in the success stories of nominees for the awards.

"This year’s winners continue to epitomize the spirit of enterprise - the raison d´etre for the Singapore Business Awards, which The Business Times is proud to co-organise for over two decades. The achievements of all four recipients of this year’s awards reflect some of the key qualities that underpin business triumphs - acute sense of opportunity, perceptive vision and strategy, exemplary leadership, and an unwavering commitment to deliver on quality and reliability."

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Limited
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For more information, please contact:

Francis Mah
Corporate Communications
Singapore Press Holdings
DID: 6319 1028
Fax: 6319 8150

Christine Ang
The Business Times
DID: 6319 5119
Fax: 6319 8292

Vickie Tay
DHL Express Singapore
Tel: 6880 6212
Fax: 6288 6855

About The Business Times
The Business Times, a member of the Singapore Press Holdings group, was launched in October 1976 when Singapore was growing rapidly as a regional financial and business centre.

Now firmly established as Southeast Asia’s leading business daily and a paper with an opinion, it brings to its readers exclusive ground-breaking reports, trend-spotting news and incisive analyses and commentaries on the corporate, financial, economic and political fronts.

About DHL
DHL is the global market leader of the international express and logistics industry, specializing in providing innovative and customized solutions from a single source.

DHL offers expertise in express, air and ocean freight, overland transport, contract logistic solutions as well as international mail services, combined with worldwide coverage and an in-depth understanding of local markets. DHL’s international network links more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. 285,000 employees are dedicated to providing fast and reliable services that exceed customers’ expectations. DHL is a Deutsche Post World Net brand. The group generated revenues of €45 billion in 2005.

For the latest news and happenings about DHL in Asia Pacific, please visit

About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Newspapers and Magazines
Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is the leading media company in Singapore, delivering news and information through print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. In Singapore, it publishes 14 newspapers in four languages. Every day, 2.7 million individuals or 83 percent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH also publishes over 90 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.

Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 100 million pageviews with 6 million unique visitors every month. SPH’s online and new media initiatives include a revolutionary mobile advertising and information service, ZapCode; recruitment and job search service, ST701; and STOMP (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), a portal that connects, engages and interacts with readers on the Web and via mobile phone messaging.

SPH has a 20 percent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40 percent stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has a 80 percent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 in Mandarin and Radio 91.3 in English.

Outdoor Advertising
In addition, SPH has ventured into outdoor advertising through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest outdoor motion display advertising network media company, and a 35 percent stake in TOM Outdoor Media Group, a leading outdoor advertising company in China.

SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping belt. SPH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, is also developing a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.