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Latest Construction Corporate Stories

China’s Property Migration

By Keith Breslauer, Managing Director of Patron CapitalOver the past 30 years, China’s economy has grown rapidly. The country has emerged as a major global economic superpower, as well as the world’s largest manufacturer and merchandise trader - on a purchasing power parity basis - and holder of foreign exchange reserves.This success pulled millions into China’s urban areas and caused the country’s property market some considerable agitation. In 1978, just prior to the free market reforms that sparked China’s swift ascent to economic power, less than 20 percent of China’s population lived in cities. Today, that figure has reached 55 percent; and approximately 275 million people - more than a third of China’s entire labour force - are migrant workers from rural areas.But the rapid rate of economic growth has proved fragile. It was recently revealed that China’s economy grew just 6.9 percent in 2015, compared with 7.3 percent a year earlier, marking the country’s slowest growth in 25 years.Property slumpSubsequent inspection of the Chinese property market also reveals cause for concern. Property price-to-income ratios have risen to above 20 times, leading to a glut of empty properties and millions of unsold homes. Last year, China’s National Bureau of Statistics estimated that unsold residential floor space totalled 657 square kilometres; an area nearly the size of Singapore.This property surplus has caused a slump in homebuilding, a severe decline in property prices and an erosion of household wealth. Developers of, and investors in, Chinese residential property are, accordingly, far less active in the face of potential financial

By Editorial Team

Shimizu Corporation Singapore

Towering Above the CompetitionWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Arron Rampling As one of the most renowned brand names in Asian construction, Shimizu Corporation’s success in Singapore should come as no surprise, but as the Company to beat and with a plethora of local competitors striving to prise market share away, the civil engineering and built environment specialist continues to rely on far more than its Japanese heritage.Having said that, there aren’t many operators - even on a global scale - who can promote such a heritage; with the wider Shimizu Group, headquartered in Japan, boasting more than 200 years of history.The latter 43 of these have been complemented by a concerted presence in Singapore, following the corporate decision to not just replicate the Japanese model in a new market, but to follow its loyal customers in order to facilitate their own expansion.Nearly half a century later, and with more than 1,000 employees bought into the Shimizu culture, the Company is now a firmly established Singaporean entity, finding the perfect balance between leveraging its Japanese knowhow and tailoring it towards a very local service offering.“There is a significant difference in the local and Japanese corporate culture which enables us to focus on good, meticulous planning and high quality of work done,” says the Company’s Deputy General Manager, Bonaventure Lek. “We also emphasise good, long-term business relationships and we have the financial stability as our resource.”Pivotal to the overall success of Shimizu in Singapore has been this ability to not just form long-term sustainable partnerships, but to do so at an almost

By Editorial Team

KONE Opens World’s Tallest Elevator Test Towers

This week, KONE is celebrating the grand opening of one of the world’s tallest elevator test towers. The new 36-floor tower is centrally located at the KONE Park manufacturing site, engineering facility and research and development (R&D) centre in the Kunshan New and Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone in Eastern China.Reaching a height of 235.6 metres, the tower contains 12 shafts that can be reconfigured for testing new high-rise solutions and components. Permanent features include a high-speed elevator that carries visitors to a sky lobby and showroom at speed of up to 10 metres per second (m/s). This is the world's first double-decker elevator to feature KONE UltraRope(TM) super-light rope technology.“The new test tower demonstrates our strong commitment to developing R&D in mid and high-rise elevator technology. We are the industry leader in China, and this investment will further strengthen our position in a rapidly changing market. Now that we have additional capacity and capability to test our innovations, we will be able to deliver new products faster than ever before,” said Henrik Ehrnrooth, CEO and President at KONE.The Kunshan test tower is the tallest among KONE's eight global testing facilities. The Company’s underground testing facility in Tytyri, Finland, is 305 metres deep, allowing the company to test elevators at speeds up to 17 m/s; making this the only testing facility in the world where such speeds can be reached. In the new Kunshan test tower, the maximum speed is 15 m/s.The Kunshan R&D team works in close collaboration with KONE's existing high-rise laboratory researchers in Finland.

By Editorial Team

China Resumes IPOs As Stock Market Revives

China's securities regulator said on Friday it would allow the resumption of initial public offerings in China, lifting a suspension put into effect in July as regulators desperately tried to slow a devastating stock market crash.China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) spokesman, Deng Ge made the announcement at a weekly news conference in Beijing.The CSRC said that 28 companies which had seen their already-approved listings halted by the freeze would be the first out of the gate, adding they have two weeks to prepare for the resumption, with the first batch of 10 companies launching after 20 November.The announcement comes after signs Chinese stock markets have finally stabilised following a rocky summer; this week the CSI300 index posted its best weekly performance since June.Mainland stock indexes are up by more than 20 percent from the bottom of a crash struck in August, technically marking a return to a bull market."This is a good news for the stock market in the mid-to-long term as it will introduce fresh cash, though it will also bring some psychological pressure to investors as they are afraid of diversion of the cash in the short term," said Xiao Shijun, analyst at Guodu Securities in Beijing.The stock market crash over the summer was partly blamed on a spate of IPOs hitting an already frothy and heavily leveraged market.Companies in mainland China had raised $23.4 billion in IPOs in 2015 through mid-June before regulators suspended deals, far surpassing the $13.2 billion in all of 2014, Thomson Reuters data showed.At one point the CSRC was letting

By Editorial Team

Arcadis Rebrand Strengthens Global Positioning

Arcadis has unveiled its new, refreshed brand identity and will now go to market globally under one brand. The announcement follows two years of investment in joining up its 28,000 people in a single operating model, which enables Arcadis to bring the very best knowledge and technical expertise to clients across the globe.The new brand will be adopted across the 70 countries in which Arcadis operates and will see legacy brands being phased out, including Langdon & Seah, Hyder Consulting, ARCADIS Logos and EC Harris. Callison and RTKL, Arcadis’ architectural brands, are also merging to create CallisonRTKL.Neil McArthur, Chief Executive Officer, Arcadis said: “Our clients tell us that the challenges they face call for their business partners to adapt and innovate, to bring their best ideas and expertise from around the world. Over the past two years we have invested heavily in our business to meet these client needs. “We are already seeing this approach bear fruit through applying our global capabilities to win work on mega projects such as the Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia and the protection of New York following Hurricane Sandy.”The refreshed brand reflects Arcadis’ ability to seamlessly draw on our global capabilities to provide exceptional and sustainable outcomes across the whole lifecycle of natural and built assets.  “Coming together under the single new brand is also an important step in bringing our people together to realise our passion of improving the quality of life and being recognized as the best,” McArthur adds.Arcadis Asia’s business growth and strategy looks to place emphasis on water

By Editorial Team

KONE to Supply Elevators to Masteri Thao Dien in Ho Chi Minh City

KONE, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry has signed a deal to supply 40 elevators to Masteri Thao Dien, a luxury residential development in District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.Situated in front of Hanoi Highway, Masteri Thao Dien will house high-end apartments, commercial offices, a shopping centre and other recreation facilities such parks, swimming pools, a playground and sport centre in an eight-hectare site.The shopping centre, Vincom Mega Mall Thao Dien, an investment of Vingroup, will be the biggest shopping centre in the east of Ho Chi Minh City and will be linked to the An Phu metro station that is due to commence operations in 2018.KONE will supply 40 KONE S MiniSpace(TM) elevators with a travel speed of 3m/s to Masteri Thao Dien. Powered by the energy-efficient KONE EcoDisc(TM) hoisting machine, KONE S MiniSpace(TM) elevators will consume less energy, achieve lower thermal losses than traditional machines, resulting in better energy efficiency.“We are extremely pleased that Masteri Thao Dien chose KONE as its supplier for this project and serve the growing urban population of Ho Chi Minh City with our pioneering eco-efficient solutions,” commented Neeraj Sharma, Executive Vice President for KONE Asia Pacific and Middle East.Masteri Thao Dien is developed by Thao Dien Investment JSC, and is scheduled to be completed by end of 2016.

By Editorial Team

Mah Sing Group Berhad

On Song Sustainability Surpasses Industry DemandWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Joe Palliser Mah Sing Group Berhad is looking to maintain its focus on providing affordable homes to the mass market segment in 2015 as it continues to enforce its position as Malaysia’s leading property developer.Incorporated in 1991 and listed on the main market of Bursa Malaysia, the Company has been at the forefront of building quality homes and commercial projects in strategic locations for the subsequent two-and-a-half decades; proving flexible enough to take on a vast array of projects, while simultaneously entrenching a familiar and reputable ethos into the wider market.As such, the Group has a comprehensive portfolio of 48 projects - both past and present - to display, similarly promoting the high standards that Mah Sing has become so renowned for in Malaysia.Spread throughout the country’s economic nexus and property hotspots - including the Klang Valley and Greater Kuala Lumpur - the Group Founder, Managing Director and Chief Executive, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Leong Hoy Kum is proud of the achievements that have been accomplished so far, and the lives that have been enhanced as a consequence of the Mah Sing offering.“The Group has proven its versatility with a diverse range of projects, from medium to high-end residential properties to Grade A office buildings, retail projects, SoHo and industrial projects,” he says. Regardless of the product series, all our products carry hallmarks of innovative designs and quality finishes, majestic grand entrances, security, extensive landscaping and greenstreet concepts.“We will continue to build eco-sensitive and environmentally friendly developments so

By Editorial Team

KONE Wins Elevator Contract in Malaysia’s ‘Silicon Valley’

KONE, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, has won an order to supply 60 elevators to Sky Park, a highly integrated upcoming development in Cyberjaya in Selangor, Malaysia.The iconic mixed use development is owned by MCT Bhd and is expected to be an iconic feature on the skyline of Klang Valley. Sky Park spills over 11.12 acres of land, where six exclusively designed buildings will stand.The mixed development consists of serviced apartments, small office/flexible office (SoFo) complexes, strata office, commercial office, shopping mall and a sky bridge that links up five of the buildings.KONE will deliver 23 KONE MonoSpace® elevators and 37 KONE MiniSpace® elevators to Sky Park. Out of 60 elevators, 44 will be scenic elevators to complement the unique building design while providing views of Cyberjaya.These elevators can reach the travel speed of  four metres a second and are connected to the KONE E-LinkTM monitoring system that provides real-time information and statistical reports on their performance.“We are elated that our close cooperation with MCT Bhd has resulted in providing the best people flow experience to this uniquely designed development,” said Neeraj Sharma, Executive Vice President for KONE Asia Pacific and Middle East.Sky Park is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017.

By Editorial Team

Revolutionary KONE UltraRope Chosen to Modernise New Zealand’s Sky Tower

The Sky Tower in Auckland is set to use KONE UltraRope®; a revolutionary carbon fibre based hoisting technology. The building, at 328 metres high, is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand and the country's most popular tourist attraction. The observation decks and world-class restaurant facilities provide visitors with stunning views of the greater Auckland area and the surrounding coastline.KONE was awarded a modernisation contract for the Sky Tower in 2012, which saw various design aspects of the building updated with KONE solutions. Now, KONE's latest innovation, the UltraRope, has been added to the project due to its ability to reduce energy consumption and mitigate the effect of building sway.“KONE UltraRope is a breakthrough carbon fibre based hoisting material designed to allow future elevator journeys of one kilometre; twice the distance currently feasible. We are extremely proud to work with SKYCITY in the elevator modernisation of the iconic Sky Tower in Auckland,” said Johannes de Jong, Head of Technology, Major Projects, KONE.“The modernisation from conventional ropes to KONE UltraRope in high-rise buildings brings tangible benefits in terms of energy efficiency, longer lifetime and less sensitivity to building sway. Over 3,000 buildings globally would benefit from a rope modernisation similar to the one taking place at the Sky Tower.”“The significance of the Sky Tower as a key part of Auckland's tourism industry can't be understated,” said Arron Money, SKYCITY's Executive Manager Capital Development and Facility Services. “Maintaining and modernising our facility is crucial to ensuring we are providing an exceptional experience for our customers; ensuring people flow

By Editorial Team

Corporate China Speaks ‘Business’

Peter Burman, President of EF Corporate SolutionsIt’s a modern-day maxim that nations with the strongest desire to build competitive economies are the ones that aggressively invest in up-skilling their labour force. As China's entrepreneurial streak races ahead, corporate executives from Shanghai to Shenzhen are recognising the importance of agility in meeting the demands of a perpetually changing global marketplace. Mastering English as the international language of business provides this agility, allowing executives to instantly respond to new opportunities in otherwise impenetrable markets.Following what appears to be a highly effective top-down approach for many Chinese businesses, CEOs are the first to ramp up their English language skills.In China, most C-suite executives are highly qualified in computer science and engineering, subjects traditionally valued for its ‘employability’.  While English is taught extensively in schools, Chinese pupils largely learn by rote, and may find their classroom English insufficient when speaking on the world stage. Our research (link to EPI-c) has revealed a large gap between current usage and the desired level of proficiency in English in China, highlighting the nation’s increasingly outward-facing business outlook. Ambitious for global capital fund-raising, as well as business expansion to sell more made-in-China tech products to global consumers require top Chinese executives to speak English. There’s a clear desire in China to learn English on a corporate level for business competitiveness, and on an individual level, vying for higher profile employment opportunities.A few decades ago, the business community projected that Mandarin would be the new language of business, but this hasn't been the case. English

By Editorial Team