Singapore Press Holdings

Summary

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SPH Media
TypePublic
IndustryMass media
Founded4 August 1984; 37 years ago (1984-08-04)
HeadquartersToa Payoh, Singapore
Key people
Khaw Boon Wan (Chairman)
Patrick Daniel (CEO)
ProductsPublications
Websitewww.sph.com.sg

SPH Media Limited (SPH Media Trust), formerly Singapore Press Holdings, is a media organisation with businesses in print, digital, radio, and outdoor media, and property and aged care in Singapore. It forms part of a duopoly on the mass media of Singapore, with the other player being Mediacorp.[1] SPH Media has over 4,000 employees, including a team of approximately 1,000 journalists, including correspondents operating around the world. The company was one of the country's "blue-chip" counters on the Singapore Exchange, and was a constituent of the Straits Times Index until its removal on 22 June 2020.[2]

History

Singapore Press Holdings Limited was formed on 4 August 1984 through a merger of three organisations, The Straits Times Press Group, Singapore News and Publications Limited and Times Publishing Berhad.[3]

In 2009, SPH celebrated its 25th anniversary and for the first time, changed its corporate logo. The new logo was launched on 30 March that year by former President S. R. Nathan and chairman Tony Tan Keng Yam.[4]

On 22 June 2020, SPH was removed from the Straits Times Index (STI), which tracks 30 of the largest companies by market capitalisation listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange after a quarterly review of the constituents of the STI announced on 5 June that year. It was replaced by Mapletree Industrial Trust.[5][6][2]

On 13 October 2020, SPH, which publishes The Straits Times and The Business Times, posted a net loss of $83.7 million for the full year.[7] Ng attributed the loss to COVID-19 affecting all major business segments.[8]

On 6 May 2021, SPH in response to shareholder pressures, had proposed that it would restructure itself and transfer its media business into a company limited by guarantee (CLG), which will be privately managed.[9][10] The new CLG will be initially managed by the holders of SPH current management shareholders: OCBC Bank, Great Eastern, United Overseas Bank, DBS Bank, Singtel, NTUC Income, Temasek, the National University of Singapore and the Nanyang Technological University, while still having to issue new management shares of the media business under the CLG as required by Newspaper and Printing Presses Act.[11][12] The government will also lift the shareholder limits on the currently listed SPH entity.[12] This new CLG is named SPH Media Trust.[13]

Readership

SPH readership has stagnated since the early-2000s, as Singaporeans increasingly turned to online media for their news consumption.[14]

Ownership

Like all newspaper companies in Singapore, SPH is regulated by the Newspaper and Printing Presses Act (NPPA) of 1974 and issues both management and ordinary shares. As specified by the NPPA, all issues and transfers of management shares have to be approved by the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, and in "any resolution relating to the appointment or dismissal of a director or any member of the staff" the vote of one management share is equivalent to 200 ordinary shares.[15]

There are close ties between the directors of SPH and the Singapore Government. S. R. Nathan, Director of the Security and Intelligence Division and later President of Singapore served as SPH's Executive chairman from 1982 to 1988 and the first President (1994–2002) of SPH was Tjong Yik Min, former chief of the Internal Security Department. The immediate former Chairman of SPH, Tony Tan was Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore from 1994 to 2005 and President of Singapore from 2011 to 2017.

Owners of ordinary share

99.9% ordinary shares were held by the public.[16] According to the Newspaper and Printing Presses Act:

(3) No person shall, on or after 2nd September 2002, enter into any agreement or arrangement, whether oral or in writing and whether express or implied, to act together with any other person with respect to the acquisition, holding or disposal of, or the exercise of rights in relation to, their interests in voting shares of an aggregate of more than 5% of the total votes attached to all voting shares in a newspaper company without first obtaining the approval of the Minister.[17]

Thus, by ordinary share, there is no controlling shareholder. The current "largest" shareholder by ordinary share is DBS Nominees Pte. Ltd.[16] It was followed by the operating unit of Citibank, HSBC, United Overseas Bank and other banks, that provide fiduciary or nominee services.[16] Other private companies and individuals owned less than 1% of the ordinary share each.[16]

Owners of management share

As of 7 October 2020[16]
Name Number % of management share Equivalent of ordinary share
(during special voting)
% of total share capital
(excluding treasury shares)
Equivalent %
(during special voting)
Great Eastern Life Assurance 3,698,297 22.60% 739,659,400
OCBC Bank 2,748,829 16.80% 549,765,800
NTUC Income 2,674,219 16.35% 534,843,800
Singtel 2,176,119 13.30% 435,223,800
DBS Bank 1,554,362 9.50% 310,872,400
United Overseas Bank 1,316,578 8.05% 263,315,600
National University of Singapore 876,797 5.36% 175,359,400
Nanyang Technological University 658,260 4.02% 131,652,000
Fullerton (Private) Limited 658,260 4.02% 131,652,000
CEO 12 0.00% 2,400
Directors excluding CEO 36 0.00% 7,200
Total 16,361,769 100% 3,272,353,800 1.01% 67.18%

Newspapers

In Singapore, SPH publishes 17 newspaper titles in four languages.

English

Chinese

Malay

Tamil

Magazines

SPH has also published and produced magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.

  • Female
  • Female Brides
  • Hardware Mag
  • Harper's Bazaar
  • Harper's Bazaar Singapore[18]
  • Her World
  • Her World Brides
  • Home & Decor
  • ICON
  • ICON Moments
  • Nuyou
  • Nuyou Time
  • The Peak
  • The Peak Selections Timepieces
  • People at the Peak
  • The Singapore Women's Weekly[19]
  • www.hardwarezone.com

SPH has stopped publishing certain magazine titles due to advertising revenue[20]

  • Action Asia
  • Asia-Pacific Boating
  • AsiaSpa
  • China Boating
  • Cleo Singapore"
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Eh!
  • The Finder Singapore[21]
  • Golf Digest
  • JET Asia-Pacific
  • LP Luxury Properties
  • Marie Claire
  • Nanyou
  • FHM
  • Shape
  • Torque
  • Young Parents
  • Young Parents Preschool Guide

Book publishing

SPH's subsidiary Straits Times Press produces books and periodicals in English and Chinese.

Online

Beyond print, the digital editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 360 million page views with 23 million unique visitors every month.[citation needed] Apart from AsiaOne, SPH's online and new media initiatives include HardwareZone, the largest forum in Singapore; STJobs and STProperty, online portal for jobs and property; and sgCarMart and STClassifieds for cars and general classified ads.

In 2018, SPH sold a 51% stake in AsiaOne to mm2 Asia.[22]

Events and outdoor advertising

SPH's events arm Sphere Exhibits organises consumer and trade events and exhibitions as well as large scale conferences in the region. In addition, SPH has ventured into out-of-home (OOH) advertising through its digital out-of-home platform SPHMBO.

Radio

SPH Radio Pte Ltd is a fully owned subsidiary of main board-listed SPH, managing and operating five radio stations: 96.3 Hao FM and UFM100.3 in Mandarin, as well as MONEY FM 89.3, Kiss92 and One FM 91.3 in English.

MONEY FM 89.3 targets educated English speakers aged 35 years and above who take an interest in everyday personal finance matters. One FM 91.3 is an English music station playing all the greatest hits from the 80s’ to now. Kiss92 targets modern, driven and savvy women aged between 30 to 50, providing informative content and adult contemporary music from the 90's to current. 96.3 Hao FM targets bilingual Singaporeans aged 45 years and above. UFM100.3 targets working professionals aged between 35 to 49 years.

Television

On 8 June 2000, SPH MediaWorks was set up with the aim of breaking into the broadcasting business,[23] and received Singapore's second nationwide free-to-air terrestrial television broadcasting service licence on 26 April 2001.[24] SPH soon afterwards launched two channels, Channel U (Mandarin) on 6 May 2001 and TVWorks (English) on 20 May 2001.[25] On 3 March 2002, TV Works is renamed to Channel i with a new programming belt.[26]

On 31 December 2004, SPH sold its television operation to Mediacorp, restoring Mediacorp's former monopoly status. Channel i was shut down on 1 January 2005, but Channel U continues to operate. Through a merger, SPH retains a 20% stake in Mediacorp's television operational, as well as 40% stake in Today newspaper.

On 29 September 2017, SPH completed its sale of its stakes in Mediacorp's television operational, and Today. Mediacorp Press and Mediacorp TV Holdings ceased to be associated companies of SPH.[27]

References

  1. ^ "Singapore profile - Media". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 17 February 2020. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  2. ^ a b Tan, Sue-Ann (4 June 2020). "Mapletree Industrial Trust replaces SPH in Straits Times Index". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 20 March 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  3. ^ "Formation of Singapore Press Holdings". NLB. Archived from the original on 20 March 2021. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Singapore Press Holdings launches new corporate logo to mark 25th anniversary". SPH. 30 March 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  5. ^ "SPH to be removed from Straits Times Index, replaced by Mapletree Industrial Trust". TODAYonline.
  6. ^ "SPH dropping out of STI shows how yield-driven S'pore stock market is, say analysts". TODAYonline.
  7. ^ "SPH shares dip below $1 after company posts first net loss". The Straits Times. 14 October 2020.
  8. ^ "SPH reports first net loss of $83.7m amid Covid-19". The Straits Times. 14 October 2020.
  9. ^ Ho, Grace (6 May 2021). "SPH to restructure media business into not-for-profit entity to support quality journalism". The Straits Times. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Why Singapore Press Holdings is Restructuring". thediplomat.com. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  11. ^ Kurohi, Rei (11 May 2021). "Management shares and CLGs". The Straits Times. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  12. ^ a b Lim, Raphael (10 May 2021). "Khaw Boon Wan to be chairman of SPH Media CLG, management shareholders to be founding members". www.businesstimes.com.sg. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  13. ^ Ong, Justin (1 December 2021). "SPH Media Trust launches with mission for ST and media titles to be trusted source of news". The Straits Times. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  14. ^ "Why did SPH restructure? Umbrage, COVID-19 and SGAG". Singapore Samizdat. 27 May 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  15. ^ George, Cherian (1 April 2012). Freedom from the Press: Journalism and State Power in Singapore. NUS Press. p. 31. ISBN 9789971695941.
  16. ^ a b c d e "Main Shareholders". Singapore Press Holdings. 7 October 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  17. ^ "Newspaper and Printing Presses Act - Singapore Statutes Online". sso.agc.gov.sg. Archived from the original on 20 March 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Harper's BAZAAR Singapore/Fashion, Beauty, Travel, Parties & Culture". Harper's Bazaar Singapore. Archived from the original on 20 March 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  19. ^ Jun, Seah Pei. "Homepage". The Singapore Women's Weekly. Archived from the original on 20 March 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  20. ^ "SPH shuts three magazine titles Cleo, Shape and Young Parents, 140 retrenched". sg.style.yahoo.com. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  21. ^ "The Finder Singapore: Insider's Guide to Living Well in Singapore". The Finder. Archived from the original on 20 March 2021. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  22. ^ "mm2 Asia, SPH to jointly operate AsiaOne". www.businesstimes.com.sg. 4 July 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  23. ^ "SPH Launches new Broadcasting and Entertainment Subsidiary". SPH. 8 June 2000. Archived from the original on 20 March 2021. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  24. ^ "Singapore Broadcasting Authority (SBA) issues Broadcast Licence to SPH Mediaworks". SBA (now IMDA). 26 April 2001. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  25. ^ "The MediaWorks Big Tune-In; Two Free TV Channels Coming Your Way". SPH MediaWorks. Archived from the original on 4 December 2001. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  26. ^ "i - Your choice for Movies and Action on Singapore's Terrestrial TV!". SPH MediaWorks. 25 February 2002. Archived from the original on 14 August 2002. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  27. ^ "SPH completes sale of Mediacorp stakes". The Straits Times. 30 September 2017. Archived from the original on 20 March 2021. Retrieved 30 December 2017.

External links

  • Official website