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Singapore banking dynasty scion pays US$29 million for mansion amid lull in high-end property market

Grace Wee Jingsi, the youngest child of United Overseas Bank Ltd. CEO Wee Ee Cheong, is buying the so-called good class bungalow at Ford Avenue, according to property filings lodged March-end seen by reporters.

Still, the class of property, which number about 2,800, are highly coveted by the ultra-rich. The March transaction price is more than double that of a slightly larger mansion in the area, which was sold in 2019 for S$17 million.

The transaction also comes amid renewed attention on where the Wee family’s US$10.6 billion fortune will be dispersed, after the death of its patriarch Wee Cho Yaw in February. Grace’s father Ee Cheong became the richest of the late Wee’s children, with a net worth of US$4.6 billion, according to Bloomberg estimates.

Grace, a former consultant at Boston Consulting Group, now runs a wellness club in Singapore, and like Ee Cheong’s two other sons, is not actively involved in UOB’s banking business. Grace didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment.

Choo was CEO of Keppel between 2009-2013, when it still owned the world’s biggest builder of oil rigs, a unit he also led before his CEO tenure. His time at Keppel was marred by a scandal over illegal payments the company made to officials of Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA. Choo didn’t respond to a request for comment sent via LinkedIn.

The unit eventually agreed to pay US$422 million to end a US probe into the illegal payments. Keppel, backed by state investor Temasek Holdings Pte, sold its oil rig unit in a major restructuring last year. The same year, Singapore’s anti-corruption agency announced a decision not to charge unnamed executives allegedly involved in the case, citing insufficient evidence.