For veteran business journalist Chan Chao Peh (CS’00), writing business stories is second nature to him.
The 43-year-old is the Executive Editor of The Edge Singapore, an online and weekly print publication that covers finance, investments, stocks and socio-economic issues.
In his bid to uncover initial public offering trends in Singapore and Hong Kong, Chan worked on an enterprise journalism feature titled 'SGX versus HKEX’ in April.
In July, it came out tops for the ‘Story of the Year – Securities’ category of the inaugural SGX Orb Awards, which honours quality financial journalism and content.
Chao is among a growing pool of alumni who are making waves in business journalism.
Other Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information alumni in the field also received awards and nominations this year.
Two Lianhe Zaobao business correspondents, Chen Jing (CS’11) and Wong Kang Wei (CS’13) won the Special Award and Most Promising Journalist of the Year Award respectively at the 19th SIAS Investors’ Choice Awards in September.
When The Edge’s editorial team observed that more Singapore companies were choosing to list in the Hong Kong stock exchange instead of, or in addition to, The Singapore Exchange, Chan started investigating whether the companies listed in Hong Kong received higher valuations and attracted more investors.
In his story, he uncovered that there was a mixed bag of performances among Singapore companies listed in Hong Kong after speaking to industry players over two months.
The experienced journalist has come a long way since the six-week attachment he did with Lianhe Zaobao at the end of his first year at Junior College. Chan then decided to pursue business journalism after interning at Bloomberg's Singapore bureau during his professional internship as an undergraduate.
Six months after graduation, Chan began his journalism career in TODAY as a business reporter and occasional sub-editor. In 2004, he started writing for The Edge before moving to Singapore Management University in 2009 as an editor for an online repository that published business insights. He returned to The Edge in 2011 as a senior writer and scaled the editorial ladder to become executive editor in May 2018.
“I was less than two years in the job and I had the chance to cover that, which was especially memorable.”
CHAN CHAO PEH (CS’00), Executive Editor of The Edge Singapore
Chan was still a rookie at TODAY but was assigned to cover the news of UOB making a $10 billion offer to OUB.
It was a huge story and probably one of the largest takeover bids in Singapore, said Chan.
“I was less than two years in the job and I had the chance to cover that, which was especially memorable,” he added.
He had a blast from the past early this year when one of his stories about the bank merger was quoted in Dr Wee Cho Yaw, the Chairman Emeritus of UOB’s biography.
Chan said he felt “quiet satisfaction that the story was deemed significant enough to be cited” because it happened 16 years ago.
Chan fondly remembers the "passionate and knowledgeable" journalism faculty in WKWSCI, who trained him to be adept at producing stories.
His advice to aspiring business journalists: Have a passion for numbers and make connections in the business industry.
“You have got to have a sensitivity to numbers because it is business after all and business is about figures and numbers,” he said.
With more than 700 listed companies in Singapore, it is impossible for business reporters to get the scoop without having a network of analysts, brokers and investor relations practitioners, added Chan.
“We meet up quite often to exchange ideas and views on what different companies are doing and bounce ideas off each other,” he said.