Koh Bros sells 15 of 69 units in Van Holland luxury condo, unit spin-off gets SGX nod

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Construction, property and engineering firm Koh Brothers Group (KBG) said it has sold 22 per cent – or 15 of the 69 units – of its freehold luxury residence Van Holland as of Wednesday (June 24).

This includes the 10 units moved during the Holland Village condo’s launch weekend in January.

KBG has built a 360-degree virtual tour of various units in Van Holland, or a digital sales kit with interactive features, to overcome the “difficulties presented” amid the Covid-19 outbreak, it noted in a bourse filing.

That said, KBG expects a negative impact on its business and the group’s financial results for the current financial year ending Dec 31, 2020, in view of the pandemic and any unforeseen circumstances that may arise from that. It added that the group remains “financially prudent and maintains operational agility to conserve essential resources to prepare for the post-pandemic recovery process”.

Located on the site of the former Toho Mansions, which was sold en bloc in March 2018 for $120.4 million, Van Holland offers a mix of unit types and sizes ranging from 495 sq ft to 1,991 sq ft and is expected to be ready for move-in in March 2023.

Separately, Koh Brothers Eco Engineering (KBEE) disclosed that the Singapore Exchange (SGX) has no objection to the proposed spin-off of its unit Oiltek, although KBEE is reviewing the situation in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and market sentiment.

KBG has a 77.29 per cent stake in KBEE as at March 19, 2020, according to KBEE’s latest annual report.

In January this year, KBEE said it plans to spin off its indirect subsidiary Oiltek and list it either on SGX’s Catalist board, or on Bursa Malaysia’s ACE Market. KBEE has about an 80 per cent stake in Oiltek, while Oiltek’s wholly-owned subsidiary Oiltek Nova Bioenergy will be spun off for the proposed listing as well.

The proposed listing will also include Oiltek Nova Bioenergy, a subsidiary of Malaysia-based Oiltek. These companies are involved in the business of building edible oil refining plants and provide its services to clients across 32 countries.

In a regulatory filing on Wednesday, KBEE said it is “not too concerned” about project cancellations or defaults by clients due to Covid-19, as its clients are primarily government agencies or government-linked entities.

Meanwhile, KBG’s proposed dividend has been reduced to 0.25 cent from 0.4 cent, whereas KBEE’s proposed dividend has been reduced to 0.02 Singapore cent, from 0.05 Singapore cent.

In the light of this, the shareholders of both companies had asked if the proposed director fees and management remuneration could be similarly reduced “in the spirit of alignment of interest”.

KBG and KBEE separately said that they have implemented a headcount freeze and that executive directors, management and staff have taken a pay cut with effect from April this year.

As at 10.25am on Thursday, shares in KBG were trading flat at 16.6 cents, while shares in KBEE were trading at four cents, down 0.1 cent or 2.4 per cent.

This version of article first appeared at The Business Times.