Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Your Money Not Good Enough

When Singapore businessman Peter Lim, with a fortune Forbes Asia estimate at £1bn (US$1.6bn), tried to outbid New England Sports Ventures (NESV)'s £300m deal for UK's Liverpool football club, he was ignominiously spurned. It didn't help that Lim’s other interest in English football is his ownership of several (14) Manchester United themed bars across Asia. Lim did say he did not plan to take an active role in running the club.

Mohamed Abdel Moneim Fayed (Arabic: محمد عبد المنعم فايد‎) is an Egyptian businessman who owns the English Premiership football team Fulham Football Club. Plus Hôtel Ritz Paris and formerly Harrods Department Store, Knightsbridge. For years, Fayed unsuccessfully sought British citizenship. For years, both Labour and Conservative Home Secretaries rejected his applications. It has been suggested that the business feud with Roland Rowland over the acquisition of Harrods ruffled feathers. Accusing Prince Philip and Prince Charles of killing Diana (Princess of Wales) and his eldest son Dodi because of latter's romantic interest did not help matters at all.

With the Straits Times extolling the praises of "the breathtaking A$8.4 billion(S$11 billion) bid" by the Singapore exchange (SGX) over the Australian counterpart, sentiments down under can only go sour. SGX just wants to outdo Hong Kong, even though the two exchanges together account for US$6.7 bn in daily trading volume, less than the US$9.49 bn generated by Hong Kong. Sydney Morning Herald wrote, "Australia has become the backyard Singapore didn't naturally have... Instead of seizing the longer-term and greater value-add opportunity of making Australia the regional resources HQ, we're happy to outsource it to a nation with more drive." Ouch! The Australian was more outspoken, "There is... no escaping the fact that this is a foreign takeover of what is currently our monopoly (of the) equities and deriviatives platform." And you thought Singaporeans were xenophobic! Who cares about the Tsunami in Mentawi Islands, the news is all about the political storm over the SGX-ASX merger, termed by JP Morgan as "a heavily politicised issue." Australian law makers have joined in the scrum (Ozzies just love their footy), lambasting the "appalling" level of human rights and lack of freedom of speech in Singapore. The Australian Greens - the party with the power in the Senate - vowed not to support the lifting of ownership cap on ASX.

In a rare interview in 2007, Peter Lim said: “Money is a funny thing. When you don’t have it, you want it. But when you have it, you have a lot of problems. I believe that if I’d had no money, I wouldn’t have had my divorce." He lost custody of his kids in a nasty divorce.


  1. Money is something. But not everything.

  2. the question for mr Lim is would he now return to the days when he had no money? lol

    recruit ong

  3. I just happen to wonder whether Singapore would have gone ahead with the execution of that Australian lad with a vietnamese name if Australia had granted all those landing rights that SIA had been seeking ?

    You know, anybody can trade for anything when it comes to business. Of course, Singapore is no exception either.