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Armed with a knack for investing and a love for reading, Cheah Cheng Hye has become an expert on the Chinese stock market.

Upon completing his Form Five at the Penang Free School in 1971,Cheah Cheng Hye considered himself lucky to get himself a job at Star Publications almost immediately.

This was because the unemployment rate in the country at the time was high and Cheah, who was then 17, was also eager to support his mother and siblings. His father passed away when he was 12.
“In the beginning i was employed to fold the printed newspapers and was paid RM3 per night.
“By the time, I finished the work, my whole face would be black because of all the ink on my hands,” he says.

As luck would have it, the paper's then editor, K.S, Choong, came to hear about this boy who had won several short story prizes in school.

“He was curious as to why i was folding newspapers when i had won all these literary prizes in school.
“He immediately offered me a job as a trainee reporter covering crime, local events and general news.”
Cheah, now 53, later worked his way up and became sub-editor in 1974. it was around this time, he applied for and was offered a job at the Hong Kong standard.

He boarded a ship with little money and a small bag, but lots of courage and determination.
He finally reached Hong Kong two weeks later, via Singapore.

From 1978 to 1989, Cheah worked with Time Inc's nowdefunct Asiaweek, Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER) and, finally, the Asian Wall Street Journal (AWSJ) where he broke the news, in 1983, that Hong Kong planned to peg its currency to the USA dollar.

“In 1989, i left the journalism world for good as i had become fascinated with investing,” he says.
Cheah recalled that during his stint as financial journalist with Asiaweek, FEER and AWSJ, he had taught himself accounting, and about the stock market and the global economic and financial scenario.
"l suppose my number one passion, which is reading, helped me grasp the topics better. At the same time, I also realised I had some kind of aptitude for investing as I was trading currency and stocks by then."

Cboah, who loves reading historical stories, moved on to become head of research at Morgan Grenfell Asia in 1989,

There, he met his future business partner V-Nee "feb and in 1993, they founded Value Partners with a OSSg.Smil start up.

The finn was dedicated to investing in undervalued small and middle capaoty Asian stocks, mainly in Hang Kong and China.

Today, nearly 15 years later, Value Partners. said to be the largest Hang Kong-controlled fund management company, manages 17 hinds with total assets under management of US$4.7bd (RM24bil). It has been hailed as an expert on the Chinese stock market.

The investment world dubs him as Asia's Warren Buffet but Cheah humbly dismisses this. He says be is one of the hicky ones to have benefited from the opening of the China market under the country's then leader, Deng Xiaoping.

"That era provided people with incredible opportunities especially for those dealing with funds related to China.

"I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. Hang fiong was the gateway to China and it was a time of great economic revival."

To Cbeah, life is a series of chances which he stumbled upon. But he owes his hardworking attitude to his family background.

"From an early age. I never really relaxed because I kept teying my best and this taught me to never rest on my laurels." he says.

Cbeah believes that his passion for lifelong learning has been the principle factor that has enabled him to reinvent himself.

"I could not read Chinese or speak Cantonese hut I never gave up and kept on reading and learning."
The father of two. who is marfled to a Hnng Kong resident, describes himseff as a simple but hardworking person who is realistic in his goals and humble in his approach.

He comes back to Malaysia to visit his family once or twice a year.
In his free time, Cheah plays golf and reads.

He says:” I'm someone who is willing to admit my mistakes because i know if i had an ego, I would not have come this far.”

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