Singapore's Rowsley Shares Surge After Malaysia Land Deal

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Shares of Singapore's Rowsley surged 38 percent on Monday after the investment holding firm said it planned to buy a huge site in Malaysia's Iskandar region and a top architectural firm by issuing up to S$581 million in new shares.

The deal will result in Singapore billionaire Peter Lim getting about 40 percent of Rowsley's enlarged share capital since he owns the 9.23 hectare land parcel via a joint venture with the royal family of Malaysia's Johor state.

The site is near the Malaysian side of a causeway linking the two countries.

Within two minutes of trading, Rowsley shares were up 38 percent at S$0.195 ($0.16) on volume of more than 29 million shares, 1.15 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.

Lim, a highly regarded investor best known for his 2010 bid for Liverpool football club, currently controls just under 30 percent of Rowsley, whose investments include Singapore consumer electronics retailer Epicentre and luxury fashion retailer FJ Benjamin.

Iskandar, an economic zone three times the size of Singapore, has been drawing investments from firms looking for cheaper land and labor while remaining close to the wealthy Southeast Asian city-state.