Former CapitaLand China president and CEO Lucas Loh has surfaced at Hong Kong-listed Hopson Development Holdings, where he has been named co-president of the mainland real estate firm.
Loh served as the head of Singaporean property giant CapitaLand’s China operations from 2014 to this year. In April, the Temasek-controlled developer announced that the 54-year-old had relinquished his role as top executive of the group’s largest strategic business unit but would stay on as a non-executive advisor through a new role as CapitaLand Group’s China chief representative.
Loh’s appointment as Hopson co-president took effect on 1 July, the company said in a Monday filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange. As of 2020, Hopson owned more than 100 commercial real estate projects and has built and operated projects spanning more than 5 million square metres (53.8 million square feet), according to its website.
The new hire has no relationship with any of the directors, supervisors, senior management, substantial shareholders or controlling shareholders of Hopson, said chairman Chu Kut Yung, nor does he have any interest in shares of the company.
In revealing Loh’s departure, CapitaLand offered no rationale for the personnel move, saying only that Jason Leow, the company’s president for Singapore and international, would “take on oversight responsibilities for the group’s development-related projects, including those in China” as a restructuring plan proceeds.
Loh had been with CapitaLand since 2001 and had worked for the company in China since 2004. In its most recent annual report, the developer had credited Loh with leading the development of four Raffles City integrated projects, including Raffles City Chongqing, which opened in September 2019.
Before joining CapitaLand, Loh worked at Singapore state holding firm Temasek from 1996 to 2001. His early career includes employment in valuation and tax assessment at the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.
Loh holds a bachelor’s degree in real estate from the National University of Singapore and an MBA from Oklahoma City University.
Moving Earth in NYC
In its 2020 results, Hopson reported recognised sales of RMB 29.9 billion ($4.6 billion now), up 81.2 percent from RMB 16.5 billion in 2019. The increase was mainly due to rising revenue from property development and investment income, the developer said. Contracted sales grew to RMB 35.8 billion from RMB 23.3 billion in 2019.
Hopson was founded in 1992 by Chu Mang Yee, who last year handed over his chairman duties to daughter Chu Kut Yung while continuing to engage with the firm as a “strategy planning adviser”.
The developer’s most significant deal in recent years was its first overseas acquisition, when in late 2019 it agreed to buy a stalled residential project in New York from China-backed New Empire Real Estate for $113.5 million.
Hopson is building a 35-storey tower on the site at 131-141 East 47th Street, just four blocks southeast of Rockefeller Center in the Midtown Manhattan business district. Excavation got underway at the site in December 2020, real estate website New York Yimby reported.
The property will contain homes ranging from studios to two-bedroom units, averaging $1.5 million each, as well as 5,000 square feet (464.5 square metres) of ground-floor retail space, Yimby said. Completion is scheduled for 2023.