Billionaire developer Kwek keeps it in the family with condo sales

A City Developments Limited (CDL) logo is seen on a building in Singapore. (Photo: REUTERS/Edgar Su)

By Pooja Thakur

(Bloomberg) — Billionaire property developer Kwek Leng Beng’s latest luxury condo in Singapore has seen robust demand since its launch last month. It doesn’t hurt that some of his own relatives have rallied to the cause.

Kwek’s wife and son, Cecilia and Kingston, spent S$9.8 million ($7.2 million) on an apartment in Boulevard 88, according to a City Developments Ltd. exchange filing late Monday. His nephew and City Developments’ group chief strategy officer Kwek Eik Sheng snapped up another unit on one of the upscale project’s lower floors for a more modest S$4.3 million.

Kwek senior, as chairman of City Developments, abstained from the board’s review and approval of the proposed sales, leaving it to the developer’s audit and risk committee to review the terms and conditions and greenlight the transactions.

Lucky for his relatives, they also got a discount. Kingston and Cecilia got 22 percent off, comprising the 20 percent early-bird discount offered to all members of the public plus another 2 percent because Kingston, as a director, is eligible for the preferential price cut offered to directors and their immediate family members. Nephew Eik Sheng got a 23 percent markdown, the 3 percent because he’s also a company employee.

To be fair, sales at Boulevard 88, located just off Singapore’s prime Orchard Road shopping district, have been pretty strong regardless. According to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority earlier this month, 26 of the 35 apartments that were marketed in March were sold, including one penthouse that went for S$28 million, or S$4,927 per square foot. That’s the highest price per square foot for a new unit since June 2013, property broker OrangeTee & Tie Pte said.

Private-home sales soared in March as developers marketed more projects after a typically slower February that included the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday. Developers sold 1,054 units last month, more than double the 455 in February.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P