Taking Stock Of Stocks

Move to house students pays off

Centurion Corporation chief executive Kong Chee Min says his firm’s assets have maintained an average occupancy rate of more than 90 per cent, and its portfolio is expected to grow by 145 per cent since its entry into the student accommodation business, b
Centurion Corporation chief executive Kong Chee Min says his firm’s assets have maintained an average occupancy rate of more than 90 per cent, and its portfolio is expected to grow by 145 per cent since its entry into the student accommodation business, by next year – all driven by demand. ST PHOTO: LEE JIA WEN
Dwell College and Crown (above) is a premier residential development in New Haven, Connecticut, in the US, while Dwell Cathedral Campus is located near educational institutes in Liverpool, Britain. Centurion Corporation chief executive Kong Chee Min says
Dwell College and Crown (above) is a premier residential development in New Haven, Connecticut, in the US, while Dwell Cathedral Campus is located near educational institutes in Liverpool, Britain. Centurion Corporation chief executive Kong Chee Min says his firm's assets have maintained an average occupancy rate of more than 90 per cent, and its portfolio is expected to grow by 145 per cent since its entry into the student accommodation business, by next year - all driven by demand.PHOTOS: CENTURION CORPORATION
Dwell College and Crown is a premier residential development in New Haven, Connecticut, in the US, while Dwell Cathedral Campus (above) is located near educational institutes in Liverpool, Britain. Centurion Corporation chief executive Kong Chee Min says
Dwell College and Crown is a premier residential development in New Haven, Connecticut, in the US, while Dwell Cathedral Campus (above) is located near educational institutes in Liverpool, Britain. Centurion Corporation chief executive Kong Chee Min says his firm's assets have maintained an average occupancy rate of more than 90 per cent, and its portfolio is expected to grow by 145 per cent since its entry into the student accommodation business, by next year - all driven by demand.PHOTOS: CENTURION CORPORATION

The Sunday Times and the Singapore Exchange's research team interview company bosses in this series to help investors get a view of a firm's operations that goes beyond the financials. In the first of a two-part series on Centurion Corporation, we talk to chief executive Kong Chee Min about the firm's student accommodation portfolio, the fast-growing tertiary education market, and how a globalised student population is demanding not only housing but also community.

Centurion Corporation is a global accommodation business that owns, develops and manages purpose-built student and worker accommodation assets.

Set up in 1981 to make optical disks, and listed on the Singapore Exchange in 1995, Centurion took the bold decision in 2011 to diversify into the niche business of "specialist" accommodation, firstly for workers and subsequently including students. The move paid off.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 03, 2018, with the headline 'Move to house students pays off'. Print Edition | Subscribe