In Good Company: For Keppel CEO Loh Chin Hua, it's all about kampung to the city

In some ways, CEO Loh Chin Hua is catering to his own life story when he pushes Keppel into sustainable urbanisation

From the 18th-floor boardroom of Keppel Bay Tower, the view is of the open sea as well as land on which stands upscale housing blocks and a mall - pretty much the way Keppel Corporation's main business is arranged these days.

The mid-morning sky looks cheerful, emblematic of the half-yearly results just announced that showed net profit rose 38 per cent to $583 million, buoyed by Keppel's property and infrastructure divisions. Net gearing - the proportion of debt versus equity - is down to 0.40x. The return on equity is nudging double digits. And while profitability at the critical offshore and marine (O&M) division continues to drag, it now has new contracts worth over $1.2 billion, higher than the total value of new orders secured in the 2017 fiscal year.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 29, 2018, with the headline 'For Keppel's Loh, it's all about kampung to the city'. Print Edition | Subscribe