IN RECENT TIMES, a number of SGX-listed companies have attracted substantial investments from PRC investors, which is part of a global trend of Chinese investors snapping up assets. 

For example:

MRI scan3.14» Luye Medicals Group acquired a 28.15% stake in AsiaMedic in 2015, which has been diluted to 24.44% last week following a private placement of new shares by AsiaMedic. (See: ASIAMEDIC: IPC's Ngiam brothers to take 10.24% stake)

» Great Group (now known as Forise International) attracted Forise Capital Group, which now owns 53.08% of the company. Forise owner Wang Xin had bought rights shares that Wen Weiwei, the previous CEO, undertook to sell to him last year. (See: FORISE INTERNATIONAL, EDITION LIMITED: Two pennies to keep watch of?)

corplogo» is awaiting the inejction of S$100 m cash by ZhongHong Holding (See: ASIATRAVEL.COM: No takeover but China investor to pour in S$100 m).

» Then there's CEFC International, which became a S$1-billion company just about six months ago after its stock price leapt over 1,000%. The trader of petrochemical and petroleum products has arisen from the ashes of the fomer Sun East Group.


♦ Sapphire Corp gets new PRC substantial shareholder

Now, Sapphire Corporation has announced the emergence of a new PRC substantial shareholder -- Ou Rui Group Limited, a company incorporated in Hong Kong and wholly owned by one of the richest PRC nationals, Mr Li Xiaobo.

Ou Rui acquired 100,768,191 shares of Sapphire at $0.097 each via an off-market deal on Friday (22 Jan 2016) with Shi Yin Jun who, as a result, no longer holds any shares of Sapphire.

That translates into a stake of 10.32%.

Sapphire said Mr Li is a veteran investor with many successful private equity investments. He was listed on the Top 400 Forbes China Rich List in 2014. 

(Mr Li's investment in Sapphire comes about four months after Sapphire successfully completed the acquisition of China-based Engineering, Procurement and Construction business, Ranken Infrastructure Limited. Founded in 1998, and based in Beijing and Chengdu, Ranken is now China’s second largest privately-owned integrated rail transport infrastructure construction group and the only privately-owned operator in China which has obtained the prestigious full AAA-certification for design, construction and project consultation in the rail sector. Ranken’s clients are mostly state-owned enterprises and Fortune-500 companies in China.)

Mr Li's notable investments include the Shanghai-listed Beijing Xinwei Telecom Technology Group Co., Ltd (信威通信股份有限公司, SSE: 600485), and Shenzhen-listed Gosuncn Technology Group Co., Ltd. (高新 兴科技集团股份有限公司, SZSE: 300098). 

He also has stakes in publicly listed companies such as WD Silicone Co., Ltd. (湖北武大有机硅新材料股份有限公司, SZSE: 430143), CSIC Environment Engineering Co., Ltd (中船重工环境工程有限公司) and Road Environment Technology Co., Ltd (路德环 境科技股份有限公司, New Third Board Number: 833601). 

A philanthropist, Mr Li currently serves as Deputy Chief Supervisor of the China Council of Lions Clubs, a government-founded organisation that works with Lions Clubs International for charitable activities in China. Mr Li previously served as the President of Beijing Lions Clubs from 2008 to 2009. 

Mr Li completed his Executive MBA program at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management, and holds a Bachelor of Economics from Renmin University of China.

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