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Malaysian Billionaire Quek Leng Chan’s GuocoLand Wins Singapore Suburban Land Auction

GuocoLand—controlled by Malaysian billionaire Quek Leng Chan—won the auction for a residential site on Lentor Central in northern Singapore, beating nine other bidders.

The Singapore-listed developer offered S$784 million ($579 million) for the 17,279 square meter site, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority, which awarded the 99-year leasehold plot to GuocoLand on Thursday.

Guocoland plans to build a 25-story tower on the site, with 600 residential units and commercial amenities on the ground floor that will include a supermarket, a childcare center as well as food and beverage outlets, the Business Times reported.

The site next to the upcoming Lentor MRT station was hotly contested with Guocoland narrowly beating the second highest bid submitted by a consortium led by Hong Leong Group, a privately-held developer controlled by billionaire Kwek Leng Beng, a Singaporean cousin of Quek.

Developers have been bidding aggressively for residential sites across Singapore to replenish their land bank as soaring housing demand drives prices in the city-state to record levels.

Kwek’s listed City Developments are among the active homebuilders on the island, bagging at least two residential sites in central and western Singapore at government land auctions earlier this year. With a net worth of $3 billion, Kwek was ranked the country’s 12th richest person when the World Billionaires List was published in April.

Residential projects in Singapore have been selling well despite the lingering impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. City Developments sold more than half of the 540-unit Irwell Hill Residences near the Orchard Road shopping belt since its launch in April.

Demand for GuocoLand’s 558-unit Midtown Modern just outside the Raffles Place financial district has also been strong, with about 60% sold over the weekend launch in March. The company is controlled by Quek—Malaysia’s second-richest man with a net worth of $9.7 billion—through Hong Kong-based Guoco Group. Quek inherited his fortune his father, one of three brothers who started a banking group in the 1920s.

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