Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) will be removed from the Straits Times Index (STI). This move comes after SPH’s share price has been steadily declining, even after current CEO Ng Yat Chung took over the helm. SPH will be replaced by Mapletree Industrial Trust.
Back in 2017 as CEO of Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), Ng Yat Chung was credited with the sale of NOL to CMA CGM. The sale of Singapore's shipping icon to a competitor was due to poor performance. He then relinquished his role. Later in that same year, SPH announced that Ng Yat Chung is the "best person" to lead the company, and was tasked to replace scholar Alan Chan. Many eyebrows were raised by this decision to continue putting a scholar with little to no business experience in such a top position.
With Ng Yat Chung running SPH, he tried to make reforms to the company. Some of his strategies included a retrenchment exercise in 2017, downsizing 5% of his staff in 2019 as its net profits continued to slump, and also investments into properties instead of focusing on journalism. However these moves to cut wages and expenses did not save the company from its downward trajectory.
Despite all the moves to cut salaries and reduce costs, the CEO of SPH reportedly earns a generous $1.9 million a year. Along with the estimated $16 million he earned from NOL, Ng Yat Chung certainly has been remunerated spectacularly.
With two homegrown companies which have fallen from grace under the leadership of Ng Yat Chung, it is uncertain if Ng Yat Chung will continue to serving as CEO.