Straits Trading to buy 20.1% stake in ARA Asset Management for $294.4m

Singapore's Straits Trading Company will buy a 20.1 per cent stake in real estate fund manager ARA Asset Management for $294.4 million.

Straits Trading, which has businesses in mining, resources and property, will also set up a real estate investment vehicle with ARA group chief executive officer John Lim, the company said at a press briefing on Monday.

Straits Trading will hold a 90 per cent stake of the vehicle, which will have an initial capital of $200 million, while Mr Lim will own the remaining 10 per cent.

Mr Lim will continue to hold a 19.3 per cent stake in ARA, an affiliate of Hong Kong's Cheung Kong group, which is controlled by tycoon Li Ka Shing. ARA manages Suntec Reit, which owns Suntec City.

Straits Trading's executive chairman Chew Gek Khim said the strategic alliance would help it grow further in the property sector.

The company, one of the oldest publicly listed firms in Singapore, sold its Singapore hotels to the Far East Group earlier this year.