Metro Holdings group managing director, Jopie Ong, dies

Jopie Ong Hie Koan had helmed Metro Holdings since 1973.
Jopie Ong Hie Koan had helmed Metro Holdings since 1973.ST FILE PHOTO

SINGAPORE - The group managing director of retailer and property firm Metro Holdings, Mr Jopie Ong Hie Koan, died on Tuesday (Feb 2) night.

Mr Ong, who was in his 70s, had helmed Metro Holdings since 1973.

He was the son of the late Ong Tjoe Kim, who founded the Metro chain of department stores. He was also a member of the nominating and investment committees.

When contacted by The Straits Times, Metro Holdings confirmed that Mr Ong had died.

Mr Ong joined Metro in 1964 and helped to grow the retail division, introducing into Singapore luxury brands such as Cartier and Piaget, and guiding Metro to its listing in 1973.

He had also held board positions in the retail, property development, construction, hotel and leisure industries.

Under Mr Ong's leadership, Metro Holdings, founded in 1957 by his father as a textile store, has grown to become a property development and investment group.

The firm has a turnover of $145.8 million and net assets of $1.4 billion as at March 31 last year.

Mr Ong was instrumental in the setting up of Transmarco, a group that dealt in luxury brands, watches and computers, and was previously its chairman.

He also acted as director of Metrojaya, which operated the Metro retail arm in Malaysia, prior to its divestment.