Suzhou IPO: Missing from media reports

In China, Infrastructure, Media on 14/01/2011 at 5:49 am

The local media reported that the company managing Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) could be slated for an initial public offering (IPO) of at least 4.5 billion yuan ($883.3 million), going by conservative estimates.

The project started off with Singapore taking a dominant 65 per cent stake and the Chinese taking the minority interest of 35 per cent. But its shareholding reform in 2001 saw this structure reversed with China taking the majority 65 per cent. Singapore’s interest has since been pared down to 28 per cent following capital injection by new investors.

MM in 2004 listed out four success indicators for the SIP. They are attracting businesses and investments; urban planning and development; ‘software’ transfer; and finally, a public listing. (Extracts from BT, but others too covered story)

Funny none of them reminds us that S’pore Inc invested US$147m in the park as of 2000, and that the losses then were US$90m. Sumething ST reported years ago.

Could it be because the 28% S’pore Inc owns could be worth US$153m (after dilution)? Financially S’pore Inc could have made some money (US$6m), not taking into account its share of the US$90m accumulated loss. If the loss is taken into account, it would have lost US$52m.

Either way a marginal gain or loss (I’m assuming S’pore Inc didn’t invest more), taking into account, if true, the goodwill that our teaching “tai kor” would have generated among the Chinese, something our ministers and our media constantly like to remind us of.

And S’porean self-haters (many on the internet) would be banging their balls in frustration that S’pore Inc didn’t lose big time. Though they would be consoled a lot of ministers and senior civil servants spent plenty of time on this project.

So it’s very strange that our “constructive, nation building” media did not report this triumph of S’pore Inc? Or am I missing sumething?

But then our media is not first world class, only fourth world class. Everything must be “betterest”. Another example

The economy did 14.7%, highest in Asia. This was trumpeted by our MSM last week.

If our stock market was tops (or near) in Asia, there would be the usually trumpets.

But our mkt as measured by STI only did 10.1%. Not bad, better than HK(+5.3%) and Shanghai(-22%) but certainly not among the leading markets in Asia e.g. M’sia did 19% and was fifth in Asia.

So our “constructive, nation-building” media doesn’t draw our attention to STI’s performance relative to other Asian markets

— ST came out with a comment that STI did 18% last yr taking into account dividends.

— CNA reported, “Thanks to a strengthening Sing dollar, the rise in the Singapore index this year was almost 21 percent in US dollar terms, beating the 17 percent gain in the MSCI Asia Ex-Japan index.”

— For BT’s take, see*.

Why does our “constructive, nation-building” media have to do this? So unbecoming of a first world city, and aspiring global city. Tell it as it is vis-a-vis other places. After all, the info is easily available to do comparisons.

It only makes us confident that the local media will never tell us inconvenient facts that they think detract from their “constructive, nation-building” duties.


Guess they are doing dry runs in preparation of the general elections.

*Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite Index ended the year up a whopping 46.1 per cent – the best performer among Asia’s major markets. Thailand’s SET Index gained 40.6 per cent, while the Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose 37.6 per cent. Malaysia’s FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index gained 19.3 per cent.

Among the more advanced markets in Asia, South Korea’s Kospi Index was the top performer, ending the year 21.9 per cent higher. Here, the Straits Times Index rose 10.1 per cent. Taiwan’s Taiex stock index rose 9.6 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up just 5.3 per cent for the year.

If the smallest markets are included, Mongolia’s MSE Top 20 index was the best performer worldwide, more than doubling over the year to 14,759.8, from 6,189.91.

  1. “Could it be because the 28% S’pore Inc owns could be worth US$153m (after dilution)?”

    USD153m is in 2011 dollars while the USD147m invested was in 2000 dollars. They would look silly.

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