Archive | August, 2011

MGM Grand Ho Tram – Update for August 2011

31 Aug
Up to 08/29/2011, MGM Grand Ho Tram is being constructed to level 17th.

Source: ACDL

Nguyen Cu Trinh Centre

26 Aug

VNRELocated at an intersection in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 where four streets meet: Tran Dinh Xu, Nguyen Trai, Cong Quynh and Nguyen Cu Trinh. This project is the largest parcel remained in the district 1 for a mix-used development.

– Total site area: +/- 100,000 square meters

– Gross construction area: +/- 600,000 square meters

– Scheduled construction period: starting from 2012

When completed, the Nguyen Cu Trinh Centre will include retail and office buildings as well as a high-end residential area. This project includes 3 components: The new mix-used of around 600,000 square meters (gross construction area) for residential, retail, office and hotel, included in this development are the resettlement area of around 100,000 square meter (gross construction area) for 900 residential units and the new Saigon Hospital on the gross construction area of 36,000 square meters for an estimated 300 hospital beds.

Apart from the economic benefits the Nguyen Cu Trinh project will bring to Ho Chi Minh City, there will also be social benefits such as the creation of a new and modern residential area for the city and improved infrastructure in District 1.

For further information, please contact:

Bitexco Group of Companies

Office: 19th Floor, Bitexco Office Building,

19-25 Nguyen Hue, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

Tel: 84.8.3821 1033 – Fax: 84.8.3821 1005

Email :

Ben Thanh Towers

24 Aug
VNREBen Thanh Towers is located at the historical Ben Thanh Market plaza, where four streets meet, namely Le Thi Hong Gam, Calmette, Pham Ngu Lao, and Pho Duc Chinh. Ben Thanh Towers is also sit on top of future city Metro Center.

– Land area: +/- 8,600 square meters

– Level: 55 levels (240 meters)

– Gross construction area: +/- 180,000 square meters

– Scheduled construction period: 2011 – 2015

The project includes two towers which are connected by a podium. The 55-storey West Tower contains office floors in the lower half and a hotel in the upper half. The 48-storey East Tower contains the residential apartments, serviced by the hotel through the podium and basement.

The architectural design has a cultural context as it refers to the Vietnamese myth of the Two Dragons. The podium represents the coiled tails, while the two dragons rise from the land. The cantilevered tops represent the dragon’s heads. The glass cubes are figurative depictions of Vietnamese pearls in the mouths of the dragons.

The image will provide a powerful reminder to current and future generations of both the Vietnamese myth and the symbolic representation of the city’s fame as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’. When completed, Ben Thanh Towers, with its iconic design and strategic location, will represent the new and dynamic Vietnam and will be a new city landmark.

For further information, please contact:

Bitexco Group of Companies

Office: 19th Floor, Bitexco Office Building,

19-25 Nguyen Hue, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

Tel: 84.8.3821 1033 – Fax: 84.8.3821 1005

Email :

PM approves funds for low-income housing

23 Aug
VNRE Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Tran Nam announced that the Prime Minister has approved a relief fund for low-income families to buy homes.

Under the plan, families would contribute 1% of their income in order to be provided with loans to buy houses.

Those who do not end up buying houses will be returned the principal along with interest (3-5% per year) upon retirement.

The fund, which will operate as a non-profit credit institution, will provide home buyers with loans, and also support developers who build affordable housing.

The Ministry of Construction estimates that Vietnam will need 2.5 billion square metres of houses in order to meet the demand of the rising population, estimated to be at 96 million by 2020.

Currently, there are only around 1.4 billion square metres, which means that the country needs to develop more than 100 million square metres every year.

Many affordable housing projects have been delayed due to a lack of capital. The Government is also considering the establishment a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) to create more opportunities for home buyers.

Statistics from the Ministry of Construction also show that about 7 million people living in urban areas nationwide now are in need of low-income housing, totaling an area of about 150 million square metres, The total investment would require between VND 300,000 and 400,000 billion (USD 14.5 – 19.4 billion).

Reported by Lan Huong | Dan Tri

Real Estate Market Gets Nearer to Real Value

22 Aug
VNREThe Vietnam’s real estate market is now in the toughest time since 2008, a sharp drop in both supply and demand. To date, many property specialists believed that the Vietnamese property market is getting nearer to its real value.

Selling price equal to cost price

In the first seven months of this year, the Vietnamese real estate market slid into a very difficult situation as input prices (including site clearance costs, material costs, etc.) leaped and lending interest rates were exorbitant. They failed to sell products, faced financial imbalance, and lacked capital for their projects. Thus, many property companies only hoped to live through this hard time.

As bank loans for the property market are tightly locked, property businesses turn almost frozen. This is the base for real estate prices to return to rational rate. Selling prices nearly equate cost prices because investors have to recover their investment capital in a slowing market. The stagnation of the property market is also caused by high interest rates, tax and capital policies, and especially the loss of investor confidence.

A survey by property consulting firm CBRE Vietnam showed that real estate prices in Ho Chi Minh City – the largest economic centre in Vietnam – has fallen sharply from early 2011 until now. Specifically, in super-luxury apartment segment, the asking price averaged only VND 84.64 million per square metre, down 1.35 percent from the end of 2010. In high-grade apartment segment, the price fell to just VND30.36 million per square metre, down 17.27 percent. In popular segment, selling price rose 16.7 percent to VND22.46 million per square metre. Currently, the demand for low- and medium-priced apartments is growing up while the interest for high-end condos is dropping. Homebuyers prefer apartments with a living area of 80 – 90 square metres, sold at VND15.6 – 19.5 million per square metre (medium-end segment) or a living area of 60 – 70 square metres, priced at VND10.2 – 14.6 million per square metre (low-end segment).

This is now the buyer’s market where buyers have more product options, more flexible payment conditions, and more reasonable prices. Some real estate projects allow buyers to settle payments in 44 tranches.

Unfocused investment is not good

The Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association (Horea) said many property companies are forced to restructure, adjust investment structure, delay or break the progress of investment projects, cut staff, and apply many sales promotion programmes like lowering selling prices, increasing discounts and commissions, supporting borrowing interests for buyers, and other incentives. Many investment projects had to change investors.

For the time being, the capital source for the real estate market is a “life or death” problem. Deputy Construction Minister Nguyen Tran Nam warned that real estate companies should save themselves first. They should mobilise capital from the public by directly selling project assets (the raised fund is capped at 20 percent of capital registered for the project). They can also join hands with other partners, either domestic or foreign firms, to seek new capital sources. In the current difficult situation, unfocused is not a good option. They should focus on key projects to boost liquidity. They should shift their investment into more affordable housing projects.

At the company level, Mr Nguyen Van Duc, Director of Dat Lanh Co., Ltd, said real estate companies can boost the demand by lowering prices and economising costs for cheaper products. They can build smaller apartments with an individual area of 50 – 70 square metres, or even 20 – 40 square metres, because their prices are more affordable for a majority of Vietnamese people.

At the State level, according to industry experts, Vietnam needs to increase capital for the real estate market. In particular, it should build a legal corridor for the formation of a secondary mortgage market (re-mortgage). It should also soon issue specific regulations on nonbanking financial institutions like real estate trust funds, housing savings fund. It also needs to have more concrete policies and mechanisms for the development of affordable and social housing projects to boost the supply and stabilise socioeconomic life.

Reported by Luong Tuan | VCCI News

Léman C.T Plaza – Swiss-style in the green heart of Saigon

19 Aug

VNRE – The Saigonese who live overseas often dearly miss those late afternoons in Saigon with the memories of twisting dipterocarp seeds flying in the air, tamarind trees quietly witnessing the changing of times, and the peaceful, shaded streets in District 3. They miss strolling along the streets of Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Truong Dinh, Nguyen Du, and Pasteur in those fresh mornings to be fully immersed in the pure crystal-clear air or rushing across the green oasis in the middle of district 3 in those sunsets yet still able to notice the sound of a dried leaf lightly landing on one’s shoulder and a tune coming from a piano in a house hidden behind a purple forget-menot fence. Also they miss Tao Dan Park which appears magnificent in those afternoon sunny-rains like the sweet charming Saigonese girls. Every one of us wishes to live in this place, only this place, in the peaceful green heart of District 3. Léman C.T Plaza is such a place that brings together the pure tranquility of the Alps – Switzerland and the typical ambience of Saigon to create a sky-blue oasis in the middle of the air in the center of District 3, Hochiminh City.

Léman C.T Plaza rises with 24 stories on a spacious premise at the corner of Truong Dinh and Nguyen Dinh Chieu streets in the centre of District 3, a prosperous area with numerous fashion shops and fine restaurants which can be found along the shaded streets. Nevertheless, within a few minutes’ walk, you will step into a bustling world around Nôtre-Dame Cathedral, Reunification Palace and Tao Dan Park.

The most luxurious and state-of-the-art hotel

An elevator plated with precious wood will take you from the mid-air green oasis to another world with all the firstclass services. Even from your bathtub, you can always order your favourite delicious dishes served by one of the tens of restaurants located on lower floors. You can also press the “Instant” button to order anything you need 24/7.

A wonderful place to relax

You can enjoy the best of life with various types of high-class spa carefully selected from many famous places such as Bali, Cheju, Kyoto or Pattaya etc. You can also do Yoga, Meditation, fitness training or try our special exotic body detoxification package. A nail Spa run by the well-known OPI will also be opened here.

Swiss-style condominiums

Driving along Truong Dinh street, through the shaded Tao Dan Park, you finally arrive at the private courtyard of Léman Condominiums.

With a private courtyard and reserved access from Truong Dinh street, the 200 Swiss-style condominiums which are carefully designed and constructed on floors 17-24 are indeed like an oasis in the middle of the air, overlooking the green park of Tao Dan, the splendid Nôtre-Dame Cathedral and the majestic Reunification Palace.

The condominiums are designed in an elegant style, fitted with highclass exclusively imported equipments. Specially, you can have your apartment decorated with crystal lightings made by Swarovski if you like. The condominiums also provide all first-class services of the five-star hotel and Parkson shopping centre below. Just press the “Instant” button and everything will be delivered to your door…

Close your eyes and let your body be lifted and caressed by water in the swimming pool and let your soul free with the chimes from the bells of Nôtre-Dame Cathedral. From the rooftop swimming pool, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city, which looks like a giant crystal at night…

Shoppers’ paradise

Léman houses the first five-star hotel in Vietnam that has a Parkson shopping centre under the same roof, with an area of 12,000 square metres. The shopping centre enable tourists, whether they are from Tokyo, New York or Hanoi, to go on a shopping spree, searching for luxurious brand-name products or rare and precious Vietnamese artifacts which can always be delivered to their rooms. Guests can also shop through a special website linked with Parkson shopping centre.

A sophisticated world of gastronomy

Parkson’s Foodcourt, with a variety of dishes from all regions of the country and around the world, will ensure satisfaction, comfort and fast service to families or busy individuals. You can also order your favourite food from the screen in your condominium or your hotel room.

Catering for business meetings and formal receptions is our highclass restaurants including authentic Vietnamese restaurants offering specialities of each province in Vietnam, Chinese restaurants with wellknown Cantonese dishes, and Italian restaurants with famous chefs from Milano.

Not only are dishes beautifully decorated but the atmosphere in which they are served are also carefully arranged so that their appreciation can be satisfactory. The gastronomic atmosphere at Léman C.T Plaza is not only a place for talented chefs to perform their skills but also for world masters in gastronomy to visit and demonstrate their crafts.

Development team

– Investor: Léman C.T Plaza is a unique masterpiece invested by C.T Group, one of the leading enterprises in Vietnam with network of 36 member companies across the country and around the world.

– Main contractor: Kumho E&C (Korea)

– Management of commercial center: Parkson (Malaysia)

– Architecture consultant: GDP Architects (Malaysia)

– M&E consultant: Beca PCM Pte. Ltd (Singapore)

– M&E Architecture consultant: Atelier Management & Design Consultancy (Vietnam)

– Structure consultant: TYLIN International (Malaysia)

– Q&S consultant: Davis Langdon & Seag (England)

– Design consultant: HTT Group (Vietnam).

For further information, please contact:

C.T Phuong Nam Joint-Stock Company

Add: 117 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, Ward 6, District 3, Hochiminh City

Hotline: 84.098 392 6996 (Vietnamese & English)

– 84.098 321 3663 (Chinese) – 84.098 322 6006 (Japanese)

Email: |

Hotel Nikko Saigon to open in December

18 Aug
VNRETokyo-based JAL Hotels Co., Ltd. will open the five-star Hotel Nikko Saigon in mid-December 2011 as the second Nikko property in Vietnam.

After three years’ construction, the Nikko Saigon has been built in a large, newly developed commercial complex, Royal Centre Project, on Nguyen Van Cu Street in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1.

The property has 334 rooms, suites and 53 serviced apartments in a 23-story building next to the Now Zone fashion mall, the hotel source said.

Facilities will include restaurants with Japanese, Chinese and other cuisines, banquet rooms, a business center, a spa, a pool and a fitness club. The hotel will cater to both business and leisure travelers.

The hotel is set to come into operation on December 18.

Taiwan-based Fei Yueh Co. is the investor of the Royal Centre Project.

JAL Hotels Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Japan Airlines, opened the Hotel Nikko Hanoi in the Vietnamese capital in 1998.

The Ho Chi Minh City hotel market currently has around 10,000 rooms of three- to five-star classes, with almost three-fourths in District 1. The five-star hotels include Sheraton, Sofitel Plaza, Caravelle, Park Hyatt, Rex, New World, Equatorial, Mövenpick, Windsor Plaza and so on.

Source: TravelWeekly Asia

Concept ‘Earthscraper’ extends deep into the ground

12 Aug
VNREA Mexican architecture firm called BNKR Arquitectura has designed an inverted skyscraper for Mexico City that stretches deep into the ground, rather than soaring into the sky.

The “Earthscraper”, as the firm refers to it as, aims to allow for dense habitation of a small area while still preserving the city square and the view of the buildings that surround it. Mexico City only permits structures up to eight stories in height, but the Earthscraper will have 65 stories — with the top ten dedicated to a museum.

The design was inspired by the layers of buildings that comprise the historic centre of Mexico City. Over the centuries, various civilisations have simply built on top of the existing buildings — the modern city is built on colonial ruins, which were built on Aztec pyramids, which were built on older Aztec pyramids, and so on. ArchDaily says that the skyscraper “digs down through the layers of cities to discover our roots”.

The inside of the structure is hollow, allowing habitable spaces around the edges to see out onto a central void for lighting and ventilation. At the very top will be a reinforced glass floor, so that the normal activities that occupy the square can still take place, albeit slightly terrifyingly for those standing on it.

The building covers an area of 775,000 square metres, and was a finalist in eVolo Magazine’s 2010 skyscraper competition.


Real Estate Credit: Still Waiting

12 Aug
VNREAccording to statistics from large real estate businesses listed on the Stock Exchange, currently these businesses are in debt by over VND30,000 billion, while their available capital is very small, accounting for only about 8.6 percent of the debt. One property dealer even borrowed nearly VND2,000 billion while its available cash is only about VND30 billion. Most property developers now depend heavily on bank loans for their survival.

Expecting an adjustment of credit policy

Not only small and medium businesses, but also large businesses and corporations are affected by the tightened monetary policy. Representatives of Housing and Urban Development Group of Vietnam (HUD) said that never has real estate investment been as difficult as now. Credit tightening policy of banks has severely affected the input cost leading to the decline and freezing of the real estate market.

Lack of capital is common in most real estate businesses. Vietnam Construction and Industry Group expressed that at present, investors lack capital for major construction projects, resulting in slow progress, the growing debts beyond their financial capacity. Meanwhile, interest rates of credit organisations are too high and projects are sluggish.

According to the Ministry of Construction, credit for real estate should continue to grow. This is especially important for businesses. Especially, the credit for each real estate segment will be adjusted. Monetary policy and credit policy are not likely to be changed much, but this does not mean there is no more flexible credit adjustment.

While not giving any specific time for this issue, the Ministry has directed local construction departments and branches to pay close attention to and be active in the classification and review for making adjustment criteria with banks.

Also to find ways to increase credit, real estate businesses are looking for all ways to prove that this sector is not really a non-production sector. The Real Estate Association said that this sector includes both production and non-production. Investors being given or leased land for investment who build housing units, industrial parks, and trading offices is considered production. From their original land, they make products for society, create jobs and economic growth. However, non-production activities in the real estate market, for example when investors launch products into the market and to secondary investors for profits. So, review is required to determine how much is production and how much is non-production.

Mobilising capital from people

The real estate market in 2011 was a wake-up call for most real estate businesses depending too heavily on the banks. According to some economists, in a few years, the real estate market will still face many difficulties, especially problems of capital. Therefore, to survive and develop in this environment, businesses need to restructure the financing of their projects. Representatives of the Real Estate Association recognised that the foreign exchange market, gold and stock markets also have many drawbacks, so the real estate market should also be able to attract capital.

People’s resources are largely available, approximately estimated at about US$20 billion. It is key that Vietnam lacks the tools and businesses themselves have not built confidence for people to invest money. Based on this, businesses must look at capital structure in the real estate business and set up new, hopeful orientations, but wait for the others.

Recently, despite the difficult market, investors have had the confidence to commence building projects. There is nothing more important than good project preparation and good investor capability. Besides, some businesses have successfully issued bonds to mobilise both domestic and foreign capital for project development. This is a new model with quick efficiency. However, it requires businesses to have a “good profile” – the project must have the potential to convince investors.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Construction is proposing various forms, such as Housing Saving Fund and Real Estate Investment Mandating Fund. These mobilising forms have demonstrated effective features in many countries and proved to be suitable to Vietnam when people can contribute a small amount with long term interest to invest in real estate.

Reported by Luong Tuan | VCCI News

Vacation Property: Effective Alternative Investment Channel

9 Aug
VNREAmid high volatility of gold prices, exchange rates and the stock market, along with many inflation-causing risks, real estate in general and vacation property projects in particular are viewed as a secure investment channel.

Mr Nguyen Van Minh, General Secretary of the Vietnam Real Estate Association, said: Vacation property is a potential market segment as it catches the interest of many investors. The boom of vacation property projects in Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Quang Nam, Thua Thien – Hue, Tra Vinh, Binh Thuan and other provinces in the last five years has led this market to its most vibrant phase. A recent survey by Savills Vietnam showed that up to 52.5 percent of vacation home buyers want to satisfy their lifestyle.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), some 50 new resort projects are applying for investment certificates, while some 20 existing resort projects are carrying out second-phase expansion.

Vacation property attracts investors because timeshare, rental management and other modern management methods help them recover investment capital and earn profit. This is also the key to attract buyers. Timeshare and rental management are very popular in many countries in the world, particularly developed nations, though it remains a relatively new notion in Vietnam. Timeshare is a form of ownership or right to use a property, especially resort condominium units, in which multiple parties hold rights to use the property, and each sharer is allotted a period of time (typically one week, and almost always the same time every year) in which they may use the property. Units may be on a part-ownership or lease/right to use basis, in which the sharer holds no claim to ownership of the property. Rental management is simply an entrusted property management. With this model, both property owners and property management companies are benefiting from real estate and business activities on this property.

One of the most notable timeshare property projects in Vietnam is the five-star Blue Sapphire Resort Vung Tau which is developed by Cotec Investment and Land-house Development Joint Stock Company (CotecLand) and Asian Tourism and Construction Investment Joint Stock Company (CotecAsia). The resort, costing over VND1,000 billion of investment capital, stretches across the 450-meter Chi Linh Beach. Casablanca Villas, an ecological villa resort complex developed by Vinalinks Land Company, is the first timeshare property project in northern Vietnam. The complex is located in the Dai Lai Lake watershed, 48 km from the centre of Hanoi and takes less than 30-minute drive from Noi Bai International Airport. This complex is close to recreational and tourist sites like Flamingo Dai Lai Resort, Dai Lai Golf Course and Racecourse (about 6 km), and Tam Dao Golf Course (16km). Under the professional management of Swiss-Belhotel Group, the timeshare project generates a lot of benefits to buyers, boosts capital recovery and profitability during unemployed time. In addition, buyers can determine the time they spend with their villas or condos.

Real estate investors currently also prefer buying resort villas as their second homes for weekend relaxation, or for rent or resale. Moreover, the demand for vacation villas is rising because businessmen prefer this form as the rent rates are even lower than high-grade hotels.

Vacation property is now not only a safe investment channel, but also a right choice as it brings two benefits: Profit from leasing and access to these beautiful properties.

Reported by Giang Tu | VCCI News