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2008 Enterprise 50 Awards opens doors to new opportunities

Singapore, 21 November 2008 – Singapore’s 50 most enterprising companies for 2008 were announced at the Enterprise 50 (E50) Award Presentation and Gala Dinner tonight. Leading the listing was home-grown company Franklin Offshore Holdings Pte Ltd. In second and third place respectively on this year’s Enterprise 50 list were iFAST Corporation Pte.Ltd.and Tru-Marine Pte.Ltd.

The dinner was officiated by Mr Lim Boon Heng, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, who gave away the awards to the top 10 winning companies. The remaining 40 companies on the listing received their awards earlier in the day from Mr Danny Teoh, Managing Partner of KPMG LLP (Singapore) at a separate ceremony.

Mr Teoh said: “KPMG congratulates the E50 winners. We are proud to be the co-organiser of this year´s E50 Awards, recognising the achievements and contributions of Singapore´s high performing enterprises. Our involvement takes our engagement with these enterprises to a new level, providing us with new avenues for assisting Singapore´s enterprising companies in opening new doors to opportunities and growth.”

Mr Alvin Tay, Editor, The Business Times said: "The Business Times congratulates the 50 companies in this year’s E50 list, particularly the 32 first-time winners. The E50 Awards are an affirmation of our winners’ compelling business models and sustainable growth potential. A strong SME sector is often the economic pulse of many great economies and a catalyst for growth. We recognise that and have devoted both resources and editorial space to covering that sector. This year’s E50 Awards, set amid the current backdrop of global economic downturn, take on greater significance and underline the vital role that SMEs play in the development of the Singapore economy."

In recognition of their being on the E50 Awards list for five years consecutively, Gracezone Marketing Pte. Ltd.,Binter & Co Pte. Ltd. and Teambuild Construction Pte. Ltd. received special awards this year.

Recognising excellence across sectors

In its 14th year, the E50 Awards identify, support, recognise and reward enterprising privately-owned, local companies across a broad spectrum of industries.
This year, the list comprises organisations from sectors such as business services (4.5 percent), information technology (6 percent), engineering services (12 percent), logistics (3 percent), hospitality and travel (1.5 percent), real estate and construction (7.5 percent), wholesale, retail and distribution (31.5 percent), manufacturing (9 percent) and others (25 percent).

The judging panel this year comprised senior management representatives from KPMG LLP (Singapore), The Business Times, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and SPRING Singapore. OCBC Bank is the sponsor.

To qualify for the E50 Award, companies must first be locally incorporated, have at least 30 percent local equity, three years audited financial records and must not be listed on any stock exchange. Companies were short-listed from the entries received and then ranked according to pre-defined criteria.

As a testimony to its importance, many past E50 Award recipients have used the ranking as a springboard for listing. To date, over a hundred companies which have received the award have gone on to list on the Singapore Exchange.

For a list of 2008 E50 Award winners please see Annex A.

For background information about the top 10 2008 E50 Award winners please see Annex B.



 

New hue to the awards

From this year, professional services firm, KPMG LLP (Singapore) has collaborated with The Business Times as a co-organiser. This new collaboration has brought with it changes in the assessment criteria.

Promising companies which are not currently generating large revenues but have the potential for sustainable growth are now in a stronger position to win a position on the 2008 E50 Awards list. This is because while they are still evaluated on both qualitative and quantitative criteria, more weight is now given to qualitative factors.

Among others, quantitative factors took into consideration financial performance indicators such as operating profit before tax, turnover and profit growth. Qualitative aspects include management and marketing strategies such as the applicant´s business model and their innovations, management ideals and governance, market branding and overall potential.

Mr Teoh said: “Our new collaboration with The Business Times sees an assessment approach which is more qualitative in nature, the idea being to create a more holistic and forward-looking judging process. In particular, the projected growth of applicants, rather than just their historical financial records, has been given greater weight.”
He added: “Looking at the top 10 companies, they all share several common characteristics. These include an established strong financial track record, which underlines their business acumen and financial prudence.”

A word from the sponsor and supporters

Other than the organisers, the Awards are also supported by International Enterprise Singapore, SPRING Singapore and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore and sponsored by OCBC Bank.

Said Mr Linus Goh, Global Head of Enterprise Banking and Financial Institutions, OCBC Bank: “In its 14th year, the E50 Awards remain an important platform to showcase local enterprises which have emerged as leaders in their industries. These winners have succeeded through innovation, branding and overseas expansion to deliver growth consistently. Their success is a significant motivation for other enterprises in Singapore.”

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), RADM (NS) Ronnie Tay of the IDA said: "I congratulate this year’s E50 winners on their success. It is encouraging to see more companies from diverse industries leveraging on infocomm technology for innovation and sustainability, and technology can indeed enable enterprises to differentiate their products and services in an increasingly competitive marketplace."

Said Mr Chong Lit Cheong, CEO at International Enterprise (IE) Singapore: "IE Singapore congratulates this year’s E50 winners. These are challenging times ahead for businesses, and our enterprises need to devise new strategies to deal with a changed environment. Singapore enterprises can view this as an opportunity to make themselves more competitive and continue to advance their plans for overseas markets. I believe that with a robust business model and forward-looking spirit, our enterprises will emerge as stronger global players. They will be well poised to forge ahead when the global economy recovers."

"SPRING congratulates this year’s E50 winners. I am pleased to see that among the winners are SMEs from diverse industries. These SMEs have proven that they can compete against the best both locally and globally. Today’s challenging climate is an opportunity for these companies to enhance their capabilities and strengthen their competitiveness for the upturn," said Mr Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive, SPRING Singapore.

About the Enterprise 50 (E50) Awards
The E50 Awards, now in its 14th year, was created in 1995 to identify, support, recognise and reward enterprising privately-owned, local companies across all sectors. It has since become the definitive list of the 50 most enterprising, privately-held local companies in Singapore. It is jointly organised by The Business Times and KPMG in Singapore, and supported by International Enterprise Singapore, SPRING Singapore and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore. OCBC Bank is the sponsor.
For more information, please visit www.enterprise50.org.

About The Business Times
The Business Times (BT), a member of the Singapore Press Holdings group, is South-east Asia’s leading business daily. It is Singapore´s only financial daily and provides a complete guide on the local, regional and international business scene.

BT brings to its readers each day a comprehensive and concise package of corporate, financial, economic and political news, analysis and commentary. BT also carries features and the latest lifestyle trends in food, entertainment, shopping, arts, health, travel and design.

In June 1995, BT became the first English-language newspaper in Asia to go on the World Wide Web. Since January 2000, BT Online started to be available from 4am Singapore time (GMT +0800) and to offer news updates throughout the day.

Redesigned in September 2004 to engage a new generation of readers, a refreshing blue masthead, bigger fonts and friendlier layout were introduced. The content has been expanded to reflect a complete read, packing in loads of new features, such as speciality pages, a daily take on the health of the Singapore economy and dedicated regional pages.

For more information, visit www.businesstimes.com.sg

About KPMG in Singapore
KPMG in Singapore is part of a global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. The independent member firms of the KPMG network operate in 140 countries and have more than 123,000 professionals worldwide. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. KPMG´s website is located at kpmg.com.sg.

Our professionals can help growing enterprises on a broad range of issues facing them in their growth, performance, governance, and compliance objectives. These include audit, tax, business planning, advice on fundraising, acquisitions, process improvements, and risk management.

About OCBC Bank
Singapore´s longest established local bank, OCBC Bank currently has assets of S$181 billion and a network of more than 460 branches and representative offices in 15 countries and territories including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong SAR, Brunei, Japan, Australia, UK and USA. This network includes more than 350 branches and offices in Indonesia operated by OCBC Bank´s subsidiary, PT Bank NISP. OCBC Bank and its banking subsidiaries offer a wide range of specialist financial services, from consumer, corporate, investment, private and transaction banking to treasury and stock-broking services to meet the needs of its customers across communities.

OCBC Bank´s insurance subsidiary, Great Eastern Holdings, is the largest insurance group in Singapore and Malaysia, in terms of assets and market share, and its asset management subsidiary, Lion Global Investors is one of the largest asset management companies in Southeast Asia. Additional information may be found at www.ocbc.com.

About IDA
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is committed to growing Singapore into a dynamic global infocomm hub. It works closely with various stakeholders across sectors like education, healthcare, finance, transport, logistics, interactive and digital media, hospitality and retail to leverage infocomm for its economic and social development. The initiative, Infocomm@SME Programme offers Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) a series of initiatives and resources in speeding up their infocomm transformation. This is part of the nation´s iN2015 masterplan to develop Singapore into an intelligent nation, global city powered by infocomm.
Please visit www.ida.gov.sg for more information.

About IE Singapore
International Enterprise (IE) Singapore is an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry spearheading the development of Singapore´s external economic wing.
Our mission is to promote the overseas growth of Singapore-based enterprises and international trade. With a global network in over 30 locations and our “3C” framework of assistance – Connections, Competency, Capital, we offer services to help enterprises export, develop business capabilities, find overseas partners and enter new markets. At the same time, we work to position Singapore as a base for foreign businesses to expand into the region in partnership with Singapore-based companies.
Please visit www.iesingapore.com for more information

About SPRING Singapore
SPRING Singapore is the enterprise development agency for growing innovative companies and fostering a competitive SME sector. We work with partners to help enterprises in financing, capabilities and management development, technology and innovation, and access to markets. As the national standards and accreditation body,
SPRING also develops and promotes internationally-recognised standards and quality assurance to enhance competitiveness and facilitate trade.

For further information please contact:
Yeo Siew Chi
Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications, Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Tel: +65 6319 1586 (direct) / 9749 5105 (mobile)
e-Mail: yeosc@sph.com.sg

Kelvin Lee
Manager, Marketing & Communications, KPMG in Singapore
Tel: +65 6507 1534 (direct) / 8118 9400 (mobile)
e-Mail: kelvinlee1@kpmg.com.sg

Dawn Westerhout
Director, Marketing & Communications, KPMG in Singapore
Tel: +65 6507 1538 (direct) / 8118 9920 (mobile)
e-Mail: dwesterhout@kpmg.com.sg