Hong Kong Rope Manufacturing Company build new factory in Singapore

IDJ has kindly sent the following newspaper article about the Hong Kong (or sometimes Hongkong) Rope Manufacturing Company planning a rope producing factory in Singapore.

Thanks to SCT for proofreading the retyped article.

Hong Kong Rope Manufactoring Company, Colonial Industrial Estate, Hillview, Singapore, Ijamestann.blogspot

This undated image purports to show the Hong Kong Rope Manufacturing Company factory, on Colonial Industrial Estate, Hillview, Singapore. Courtesy: ijamestann.blogspot. The blog , linked below, provides further information about the factory, suggesting it was closed in 1963 and the property was sold to the British Castrol Lubricant Company. Currently the site is occupied by the Glendale Park Condominium complex.

That work is now going ahead with the establishment of a rope works in Singapore was disclosed by Mr G.E. Marden, MC, in his statement to shareholders this morning at the annual general meeting of the Hongkong Rope Manufacturing Company Ltd. He said that they had been able to purchase a suitable site at a favourable price, while the most modern type of plant and machinery had been ordered.

The Chairman’s statement, previously circularised to shareholders, read:

It is now evident that the favourable experience of the preceding two years was largely due to the stockpiling which followed the Korean crisis. In the year under review unfavourable changes in Far East trade, which were part of a worldwide inventory cycle caused by the large stock carryover held by consumers, adversely influenced demand for rope, whilst prices were also severely affected by increased competition in the export market.

The result of the year’s trading is a net profit of $483,200.12. The dividend and bonus recommended, together with bonus to staff and workers and provision for profits tax, exceeds this amount and allowing for the sum of $31,501.01 added to the General Reserve, results in a carry forward smaller at $87,084.34 by some $37,700 than last year. The balance of the provisions for war damage and staff passage reserve together with provision for Typhoon & Flood has been transferred to the P. & L. Appropriation A/C for the purpose of consolidation with the Factory Reconstruction and Plant Replacement Reserves into one single General Reserve figure, which your board considers gives a clearer picture of your Company’s Capital and Reserve structure. Resulting from this decision there appears in the Balance Sheet a new item of General Reserve which has been rounded off to $1,700,000.


Last year I informed you that your Directors were actively investigating a scheme of building a rope works in Singapore and in view of the actual or potential loss of certain of our traditional markets and the disadvantages under which we laboured as importers into Singapore and Malaya we have gone ahead with our plans. With the valuable co-operation of the Colonial Development Corporation, we have been able to buy a most suitable site at a favourable price. Earthwork is already in progress and we hope to start construction of buildings shortly. The most modern type of plant and machinery has been ordered and will be installed together with certain units which can be spared from Hongkong.

An experienced Works Manager has been engaged in the United Kingdom and is already here.

The branch office of our General Managers in Singapore is maintaining liaison and will continue to do so when production starts, which, we hope, will be early next year.

The estimated total cost of the new factory is in the neighbourhood of HK$3,000,000 comprising $400,000 for Land, $2,000,000 for buildings and $400,000 for Plant and Machinery.

It has been arranged to augment the company’s cash resources by advances from our Bankers, the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, in order to meet the cost of the new works and it must be pointed out that during the period of indebtedness to our Bankers and pending the coming into production of the new works, the continued payment of a bonus in addition to the dividend must depend upon improvement in trade. The impact of new production in Singapore, however, may ne anticipated in 1954 and we may not expect to regain our traditional markets in that area but to reap benefit from our favourable position with regard to South East Asia generally.

The proposed bonus to staff and workers, which has again been well earned, will, I trust, have your approval.

Stocks and Stores have as usual been valued at cost or market value whichever was the lower. The difficulties of getting Manila Hemp, referred to last year, have been completely overcome.

The report was seconded by Mr. H.M. Parsons, and was carried unanimously.

Proposed by Mr G.T. Palmer and seconded by Mr G.R.B Bubler [?] Owen, Mr Albert Raymond, and Mr Horace Kadoorie were re-elected to the Board of Directors.

Messrs Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Co., were reappointed auditors, proposed by the Chairman and seconded by Mr T.E. Baker.

Source: China Mail 2nd April 1953


  1. https://ijamestann.blogspot.com/2019/12/factories-around-hillview-11-hong-kong.html

This article was first posted on 30th June 2021.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. The Hongkong Rope Manufacturing Co., Ltd
  2. The Hong Kong Rope Manufacturing Company – further information
  3. The Hongkong Rope Manufacturing Co., Ltd – images from c1908
  4. The Rope Making Industry in Hong Kong, 1957 Trade Bulletin article
  5. Robert Gordon Shewan – CLP, Green Island Cement and HK Rope Manufacturing
  6. Rope Making in Hong Kong – Sai Ying Pun 1970s + Kowloon 1945
  7. Yau Ma Tei – origin of place name from rope making?
  8. Rope-making and Dyeing/Calendering on Ap Lei Chau Island. 1971 RASHKB article

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