SINGAPORE – New Silkroutes Group Limited (“NSG” or the “Group”) announced today its foray into real estate investment with the launch of a joint-venture company that will focus on residential and commercial projects in the world’s three largest economies and several other Asian markets.

New Silkroutes Capital Pte Ltd, NSG’s wholly-owned investment arm, has a 35% stake in the new company, SilkrouteAsia Asset Management Pte Ltd, which will focus on real estate advisory, deal originations and investment structuring. Singapore-based SilkrouteAsia Asset Management will also co-invest in projects with strategic partners.

SilkrouteAsia Asset Management’s target markets are the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. It will identify projects in these markets, source for investors, and seek to optimise or unlock value in these properties.

The other shareholders in SilkrouteAsia Asset Management are Mr Steven Loh, who has a 50% stake and will head the joint venture, and Global & Advisory Investments Pte Ltd, which owns 15%.

Mr Loh is a former country asset manager for South Korea, China and Japan at the real estate arm of Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC. He was previously also a senior vice president at MEAG Pacific Star Asset Management Pte Ltd, a real estate joint venture between MEAG Munich Ergo Asset Management GmbH and Pacific Star Group. He was also the group asset manager overseeing the investment properties of DBS Land before it merged with Pidemco Land in 2000 to form CapitaLand.

Mr Loh sits on the boards of OUE Commercial REIT Management Pte Ltd, the manager of Singapore-listed OUE Commercial REIT; and Gemdale Properties and Investment Corporation Limited, a developer listed in Hong Kong. He is also a non-independent director of EFA RET Management Pte Ltd, an affiliate of EFA Group.

He and a few high net worth individuals are investors in The Ritz-Carlton Residences at LA Live, a 224-unit luxury condominium in Los Angeles. They also acquired 69 of the 223 apartments at The W New York Downtown Hotel and Residences.

“I have known Steven for several years now and have come to appreciate his sharp acumen in identifying and seizing opportunities for attractive property deals. I believe SilkrouteAsia Asset Management, under Steven’s leadership, will become a sought-after partner for real estate owners and institutional investors,” said Mr Francois Dotta, the sole shareholder of Global & Advisory Investments.

Mr Dotta is also the CEO and co-founder of EFA Group Pte Ltd, an independent fund manager and trade-finance specialist regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He is invested in SilkrouteAsia Asset Management in his personal capacity and is a non-executive director in the joint venture.

Dr Goh Jin Hian, NSG’s CEO, said: “Over the past two years, we have laid the necessary foundations to develop core capabilities in energy trading, healthcare management and infocomm technology. This joint venture marks our foray into real estate investment, which completes the business verticals that NSG has identified for itself as an investment holding company. Steven’s extensive contacts and networks in the United States and Asia will be extremely useful in building up this new business.” –