Singapore shops abroad

Raffles'' acquisition of Swissotel shows how Singapore Inc. is trying to escape its geography.

The news that Raffles Holdings is to buy Swissotel Holding from SAirGroup in Switzerland is just the latest example of a venerable Singaporean company going overseas to expand. What is interesting is that it is also the latest Singaporean company that has bought outside Asia.

After acquisitions by Singapore Power GPU Powernet, Australia, Singapore Airlines Virgin Airlines, UK, Keppel TT Computer Generated Solutions, US, Singapore Telecom Cable Wireless Optus, Australia and others, Raffles' latest foray into non-Asian acquisition confirms that the trend is deliberate. It is as if corporate Singapore is trying to escape from its roots in Asia. This is hardly surprising given two factors history and geography.

Historically,...

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