12 Brands That Control Nearly Everything You Read, Eat, And Buy In Singapore

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These brands own (almost) everything in Singapore

A new shopping mall opens and you see the exact same stores in each one. It’s like someone just did a copy/paste and re-arranged the outlets slightly. Is it just a random occurrence? Or do these brands own so much of Singapore that all the other businesses are squeezed out with no chance to enter the market?

Chances are, you interact with these following brands every single day of your life without even thinking about it. But you probably never knew these shops and malls were all owned by the same conglomerate. And this is not always a bad thing. For the smaller home-grown companies like BreadTalk and Thai Express, their success stories are truly inspirational.

For government other companies, well I guess it helps to get your money from taxpayers elsewhere before siphoning it into an empire you can call your own. Okay we’re only kidding, please don’t sue us.

Here are 12 brands that own nearly everything in Singapore:

Brands That Own Everything You Eat

1. BreadTalk Group

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Founded by George Quek, humble beginnings precede the founding of BreadTalk. An aspiring artist, George had to resort to selling dragon beard candy to make ends meet while studying in Taiwan. It was then he discovered his entrepreneurial spirit and he eventually returned to Singapore and founded BreadTalk in July 2000.

What they own: 

  • BreadTalk
  • Toast Box
  • Food Republic
  • Ramen Play
  • Din Tai Fung
  • The Icing Room

2. Minor Food Group

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Thai Express Founders, Ivan Lee and Dellen Soh, noted the lack of Thai casual eateries in Singapore despite the popularity of Thai cuisine among Singaporeans. This observation resulted in the birth of the first Thai Express outlet in 2002, in Holland Village. Development over the years saw the duo expand into other international cuisines.

What they own:

  • Thai Express
  • Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe
  • New York New York
  • Buffet Town
  • Kiseki
  • Poulet
  • Shokudo
  • Basil
  • Pinle
  • Penang Street

3. Tung Lok Group

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With numerous accolades from the F&B industry, one is guaranteed the gastronomic feast with choices ranging from seafood at Dancing Crab and Tung Lok seafood, Northern Chinese fare at Lao Beijing and Noodle Stories, vegetarian gourmet cuisine at LingZhi Vegetarian, to English-styled pancakes at Slappy Cakes.

What they own:

  • Dancing Crab
  • Lao Beijing
  • LingZhi Vegetarian
  • Noodle Stories
  • Ruyi – Chinese Fast Food
  • Shin Yeh
  • Shin Yeh Bistro
  • Slappy Cakes
  • Tong Le Private Dining
  • Tung Lok Heen
  • Tung Lok Seafood
  • TungLok Signatures
  • TungLok Teahouse
  • TungLok Xihe Peking Duck

4. Dairy Farm International Holdings

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A leading pan-Asian retailer, Dairy Farm is a subsidiary of Jardine Matheson Group. Dairy Farm concentrates on selling stuff that you need everyday — stuff known as groceries. These guys will never go out of business will they?

What they own:

  • Cold Storage
  • Giant
  • Guardian
  • Jason’s Marketplace
  • 7-Eleven

Brands That Own Where You Sleep & Shop

5. Far East Organisation


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With a better-known reputation in dabbling in real estate, who would have known that Far East Organisation is the parent company of Yeo Hiap Seng Limited? Otherwise recognised as Yeo’s, its popular drinks include H-TWO-O, Justea, and Pink Dolphin. Its subsidiary, Far East Orchard Limited, controls medical suites, while Far East Hospitality Trust’s portfolio encompasses renowned hotels. Its food businesses, under Kitchen Language Pte Ltd, are some of today’s popular joints like Cold Stone Creamery, Quiznos Sub, and Dean & DeLuca.

What they own:

Yeo Hiap Seng Limited

Beverages: An entire lineup of Asian drinks, from chrysanthemum tea to sugar cane juice. Also a bunch other assorted drinks usually found in kopitiams and supermarkets.
Food: Another lineup of Asian culinary shortcuts, including pre-made sauces, canned foods, condiments, and spreads.
Properties: Tivoli Gardens, a 59-unit landed estate in District 19, The Sterling, Jardin, Gardenvista and landed properties namely Tai Keng Villas, Parry Green, Chuan Villas, and Princeton Vale.

Far East Orchard Limited

Properties: euHabitat, RiverTrees Residences, The Floridian,Kew Residencia, The Nexus, Regent Grove, Glendale Park, Seasons View, Kew Green, and The Manor Houses.
Medical suites: Novena Medical Center and Novena Specialist Center

Far East Hospitality Trust

Hotels: The Quincy Hotel, Oasia Hotel Singapore, Rendezvous Hotel Singapore, Village Hotel Albert Court, Village Hotel Bugis, Village Hotel Changi, Orchard Parade Hotel, The Elizabeth Hotel.
Serviced residences: Regency House, Village Residence Clarke Quay, Village Residence Robertson Quay, Village Residence Hougang

Kitchen Language Pte Ltd

Cold Stone Creamery, Quiznos Sub, Dean & DeLuca, SALTA Argentine Parrilla, Ju Chun Yuan, BWB | burger VS wings + bar, The Pelican, Oriole, Fat Cow, Quiznos Sub, Kinki, Straits Cafe Rendezvous

6. CapitaLand

CapitaLand LogoCapitaLand, one of Asia’s largest real estate companies, is listed and headquartered in Singapore. Its portfolio includes serviced residences, homes, offices, integrated developments and shopping malls – ION Orchard and Plaza Singapura which are located in Singapore’s prime shopping district, Orchard Road – as well as an assortment of neighbourhood malls.

What they own: 

  • Westgate
  • Plaza Singapura
  • ION Orchard
  • Raffles City
  • Clarke Quay
  • Bedok Mall
  • Bedok Residence
  • ION Orchard
  • The Orchard Residences

7. Frasers Centrepoint Malls

frasersFrasers Centrepoint Malls boast a total of 13 malls located islandwide. With malls in the east like Eastpoint Mall to the north like Northpoint Mall, in addition to malls in the Northeast like Compass Point and Central like The Centepoint, Robertson Walk and China Square Central, you’ll be sure to be squandering your monies in these malls.

What they own:

  • Anchorpoint
  • Bedok Point
  • Causeway Point
  • Changi City Point
  • China Square Central
  • Compass Point
  • Eastpoint Mall
  • Northpoint
  • Robertson Walk
  • The Centrepoint
  • Valley Point
  • Waterway Point
  • Yew Tee Point

8. National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)

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Perhaps best known for its supermarket chain, NTUC owns so much more than a typical trade union perhaps should. The Cheers chain, Vanda Terrace, Wang Cafe and Foodfare foodcourts are among others owned by NTUC. They are also behind Rice Garden, a social outreach programme initiative, where affordable and nutritious meals starting from $1.99 can be found. NTUC are also dabbling in the early childhood education with the NTUC First Campus offshoot.

What they own:

  • Supermarket: NTUC FairPrice
  • Convenience Store: Cheers
  • Eateries: Foodfare, Wang Cafe, Vanda Terrace, Rice Garden
  • NTUC First Campus: The Caterpillar’s Cove, The Little Skool-House International, My First Skool.

9. Wing Tai Group

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Most consumers should be familiar with these prestigious international brands Ben Sherman, Dorothy Perkins, Karen Millen, Miss Selfridge, Adidas, Uniqlo, Topshop and Topman. In addition to these retail shops, Wing Tai also owns Park Mall.

And oh, Winsland House I and II are both under Wing Tai’s wings too.

What they own:

  • Retail: Adidas, Adolfo Domingeuz, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Ben Sherman, Dorothy Perkins, Etam, Fox, G2000, i.t, Karen Millen, Miss Selfridge, Pumpkin Patch, Topshop, Topman, Uniqlo, Warehouse
  • Food: Yoshinoya
  • Malls: Park Mall, Burlington Square
  • Hospitality: Lanson Place Winsland Serviced Residences
  • Commercial Property: Winsland House I, Winsland House II

Brands That Own What You Read, Watch And Hear

10. Mediacorp

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A monopoly, Mediacorp controls almost everything you see, hear and read, from television channels, radio stations to print media. Well, maybe not entirely yet – not when SPH is around. And so far in the digital realm, SPH is completely crushing what Singaporeans nickname – mediacorpse.

What they own:

  • Channel 5
  • Channel 8
  • Channel U
  • Channel News Asia
  • Okto
  • Suria
  • Vasantham
  • 8 Days
  • FHM
  • I-weekly
  • ELLE
  • Manja
  • Mother & Baby
  • Style:
  • Style: Men
  • TODAY
  • VizPro
  • Toggle
  • ooh! Media
  • Symphony 92.4FM
  • 95.8FM
  • Oli
  • Warna
  • Ria 89.7FM
  • LOVE 97.2FM
  • 98.7FM
  • 93.8 Live
  • Gold 90FM
  • Lush 99.5FM
  • YES 93.3FM

11. Singapore Press Holdings (SPH)

sph

The print equivalent of Mediacorpse, SPH owns mainstream media like The Straits Times, The Business Times, Shin Min, Zao Bao and more. They also own Singapore’s most popular forum – Hardwarezone. However, did you know that the more trashy news sites like Stomp and Lollipop are also owned by SPH?

What they own:

  • The Straits Times
  • The Sunday Times
  • The Business Times
  • The New Paper
  • Lianhe
  • Shin Min
  • My Paper
  • Comma
  • Thumbs Up
  • Berita Harian
  • Berita Minggu
  • Tamil Murasu
  • Tabla!
  • Digital Life
  • Mind Your Body
  • Urban
  • Sutra
  • U-Weekly
  • Wellness No. 1
  • Health No. 1
  • Kiss 92 FM
  • UFM 100.3FM
  • Hot FM 91.3
  • ST 701
  • Stomp
  • Asia One
  • Lollipop SG
  • Hardwarezone
  • Paragon
  • The Clementi Mall
  • The Seletar Mall
  • [email protected]

The Brand That Owns Singapore’s Most Important Assets

12. Temasek Holdings

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A government-owned investment company since 1974, Temasek Holdings is run by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s wife, Ho Ching. Temasek Holdings possesses some of Singapore’s most reputable brands, including Singapore’s leading consumer bank, DBS Bank. Tourist attractions such as Jurong Bird Park and The Singapore Zoo are also under Temasek Holdings’ wing. Temasek Holdings are also in the airline industry with SilkAir, Scoot, and their parent company, Singapore Airlines.

Let’s also not forget about the large stakes they have in Mediacorp, Singtel, Standard Chartered, Bank Of China, AIA, CapitaLand and so on.

What they own:

  • DBS Bank
  • The Singapore Zoo
  • Jurong Bird Park
  • Sembcorp Industries
  • Sembawang Holdings
  • Keppel Shipyard
  • Neptune Orient Lines
  • Primary Industries Enterprises
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Jurong Holdings
  • Jurong Shipbuilders
  • Jurong Shipyard

Yes, we know we’ve missed many small brands, but it is also shocking to see how much of Singapore is owned by just these 12 brands.

It makes you wonder, how much control do they have over your life? It’s scary just to think about it.


With reference to Temasek ReviewWikipedia, Facebook, Din Tai FungRamenPlay, Facebook, Frasers, Wang Cafe, Foodfare, Far East, Wikipedia, Thai Express, Tung Lok, Dairy Farm, Singapore Tatler, Mediacorp, SPH

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