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Former Xiaomi director paying S$31.5m for GCB in Tanglin Hill

Former Xiaomi director paying S$31.5m for GCB in Tanglin Hill.

A FORMER board member of Xiaomi Corporation is paying S$31.5 million for an old bungalow along Tanglin Hill in the Ridley Park Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Area.

The price works out to S$1,915 per square foot on the freehold land area of 16,446 sq ft. The buyer - understood to be Koh Tuck Lye, who is also known as Xu Dalai - is expected to tear down the bungalow, which is more than 30 years old, and to build a new house on the District 10 site. Mr Koh, who is in his late 40s, is Singaporean. "The land value fetched by the property is likely to be the highest in the Ridley Park GCB Area," said List Sotheby's International Realty (List SIR) in a release issued on Friday.

Its senior associate vice-president Steve Tay represented the seller in the transaction. "Based on caveats lodged, the last GCB that changed hands in Tanglin Hill was three years ago. Located one street away, the 17,728 sq ft freehold site fetched S$27.5 million (S$1,551 psf) in March 2016," he said.

List SIR said the family that is selling the bungalow has outgrown the property and decided to move to a bigger GCB. It bought the property in 1984. The firm did not name the buyer, who was represented by Harvest Realty. Last month, Mr Koh resigned as a non-executive director and a member of the audit committee of Hong Kong-listed Xiaomi Corporation, to focus on Shunwei Capital. This is a venture capital firm that Mr Koh cofounded with Lei Jun, who is Xiaomi's chairman, CEO and co-founder. Mr Lei is Shunwei Capital's chairman and Mr Koh, its CEO.

According to information in Xiaomi's 2018 annual report released earlier this year, Mr Koh's qualifications include a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the National University of Singapore. Bungalows in the 39 gazetted GCB Areas are the most prestigious form of landed housing in Singapore, with strict planning conditions stipulated by the Urban Redevelopment Authority to preserve their exclusivity and low-rise character.

Adapted From The Straits Times, Nov 09 2019