In the early years of Singapore’s colonial history, Straits Trading was founded to cater to the region’s growing tin smelting industry. Incorporated by businessmen James Sword and Herman Muhlinghaus on 8 November 1887, the company began with an initial capital commitment of 150,000 Straits Dollars.

By the 1900s, Straits Trading had become renowned for tin smelting, and the Pulau Brani smelter had gained international fame for producing the purest tin in the world. In 1912, “Straits Tin” accounted for two-thirds of Malaya’s tin output.

As Straits Trading grew and evolved through the decades, so did the business. In the 1960s, the company expanded into emerging sectors such as property, equity investments and hospitality. In 2008, The Cairns Pte Ltd – a member of the Tecity Group – acquired Straits Trading.

With a transformational takeover and a new management team, Straits Trading has truly grown from strength to strength, becoming the thriving conglomerate that it is today.


The Straits Trading Company Limited incorporated by founders James Sword and Herman Muhlinghaus with 150,000 Straits Dollars


1st smelting plant in Singapore’s Pulau Brani opens


World’s largest tin smelting company providing more than 50% global supply


Investment diversification and global business network made possible by Tecity Group founder Tan Sri (Dr) Tan Chin Tuan


Hospitality business launched with Rendezvous Hotels International Private Limited, which takes over management of Observation City Hotel in Perth, Australia


Majority stake in Straits Trading acquired by Tecity Group


Straits Real Estate Pte. Ltd. incorporated with $950 million

20.1% stake in ARA Asset Management Limited acquired for $294.4 million

30% stake in Far East Hospitality Holdings Pte. Ltd.


悅地 My Place – a retail mall in Chongqing, China – acquired for RMB668.4 million

Malaysia Smelting Corporation Berhad becomes world’s largest independent tin smelter


Singapore’s only public-listed entity to have significant stake in ARA Asset Management Limited

Nikko AM-Straits Trading Asia ex-Japan REIT ETF launched with Nikko Asset Management Asia Limited


Sanlin InCity – a retail mall in Pudong, China – acquired for RMB2.42 billion

KRW110 billion invested with partner IGIS Asset Management Co., Ltd for logistics facilities in Greater Seoul


Acquired a freehold Bourne Business Park in Surrey County, England, for GBP76.7 million