Company Briefs: Courts Asia

Courts Asia

Long-time Courts Asia head Terry O'Connor will step down as group chief executive officer from July 1 and become an executive adviser, the company said yesterday. He has also resigned from its board.

Following the buyout of Courts by Japanese electronics retailer Nojima, Mr O'Connor "expressed his desire to relinquish operational responsibilities and support the group in an advisory capacity".

Courts is now in the "advanced stages" of hiring a new group CEO. It was delisted from the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange last month after Nojima completed its buyout.

As executive adviser, Mr O'Connor will oversee stakeholder relationship management and the ongoing integration process.

Under his 20-year leadership, Courts entered omnichannel retailing, transformed offline stores into experience centres, and expanded into Malaysia and Indonesia, the company said.

Fortune Reit

Hong Kong and Singapore dual-listed Fortune Reit will delist from the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange (SGX), citing as reasons administrative overheads, costs of compliance and low trading volume in Singapore.

Its manager is ARA Asset Management.

SGX said it has no objection to the delisting.

Fortune Reit has applied for and received in-principle approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore to withdraw its authorisation as a collective investment scheme in the Republic.

It is currently primarily listed in Hong Kong and secondarily listed in Singapore after a December 2015 conversion exercise of its listing status from a primary listing here, and has authorisation as a collective investment scheme in both markets.

ARA Asset Management said the delisting from SGX will "allow Fortune Reit to streamline its compliance obligations, reduce its legal and compliance costs which have to be borne by unit holders of Fortune Reit, and focus its resources on its business operations".

Trading volume in Hong Kong also "significantly exceeds" that of the SGX's, the manager said. Average daily trading volume from June last year to May this year was about 2.4 million units on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, compared with about 62,000 here.

ARA Asset Management said it believes consolidating trading in Hong Kong will increase liquidity and improve the effectiveness of any future capital-raising activities.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2019, with the headline 'Company Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe