Archive | December, 2011

Malaysia’s largest housing group pours investment into Vietnam

29 Dec
VNRE – WCT (S) Pte Ltd, under WCT Berhad, one of Malaysia’s largest construction and property development groups, on December 27 was licensed to carry out a housing and commercial complex project in HCM City.

HCMC: Lakeside Towers

Accordingly, WCT (S) Pte Ltd and Southern Land Corp JSC will establish a joint venture called WCT-DPN Co Ltd with initial charter capital of $25.15 million.
The company will develop a middle-and high-class apartment and real estate project for leasing or selling.
The project is built on an area of 46,577sq.m in the southern new urban area of HCM City.
Source: VOV

ECC plans six shopping malls in Vietnam and Thailand

29 Dec
VNRE – Netherlands-based mall developer ECC International Real Estate yesterday announced plans to invest US$400-500 million over the next five years to develop five to six malls in Viet Nam and Thailand.

Its first resort-style mall, to cost 2.9 billion baht ($96 million), is scheduled to open in the Thai city of Chiang Mai next December.
Tjeert Kwant, president and chief executive officer of the company, said ECC would announce its first project in Viet Nam, a mall in HCM City, in the next three months.
“Viet Nam is recognised as a different kind of market from Thailand, and our first shopping mall in HCM City will have a ‘downtown mall’ concept with a small footprint and maximum utilisation of retail space,” Kwant told the Thai English language newspaper The Nation.
The company decided to shift its investment focus from Europe to Southeast Asia around six years ago since the continent’s shopping-mall market was reaching saturation.
“We are entrepreneurial, and we have started our business in Thailand with a good feeling. We feel the potential is 100 per cent both in Thailand and Viet Nam,” Kwant said. 
Source: VNA

Knight Frank appointed as exclusive leasing for Saigon One Tower

29 Dec
VNRE – Saigon M&C Real Estate Corporation has appointed Knight Frank Vietnam as exclusive leasing for Saigon One Tower’s office tower.

Saigon One Tower

 Saigon One Tower is located at the crossroad of two boulevard Ham Nghi and Ton Duc Thang. The project includes 2 towers which are 41 storeys height, of which 3 basements, 6 storyes podium used for commercial center, 1 office tower view Sai Gon river and resident tower view the city downtown.
As expected, Saigon One Tower will be completed in 4/2012, provide 40.000m2 office space for lease. This is the biggest Grade A office in Hochiminh City to date.

Ho Chi Minh City to focus on Thu Thiem Peninsula

23 Dec
VNRE – In 2012, HCM City will focus on mobilizing investment for infrastructure development and for major projects on the Thu Thiem Peninsula, city authorities have said.
Speaking at a press meeting last Friday, the deputy head of the Thu Thiem Urban Area Authority, Trang Bao Son, said major international investors would be invited to invest in these projects.
Construction of four major roads on the peninsula will be one of the major infrastructure development projects to be undertaken next year.
The axis roads include an arc avenue, a road running around a lake in the center of the new urban area, a highway to run along Saigon River, and an elevated highway.
The Vietnam Infrastructure Development and Financial Investment Corp (Vidifi) has been assigned as the investor of the project.
Vidifi is expected to break ground for the axis road project, which requires investment of over VND10 trillion (US$476 million), in the third quarter of 2012.
The center of Thu Thiem Area will house major projects such as an international convention center, a central square and an international financial and commercial center.
The Vietnam Joint stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade or VietinBank, which has been assigned to be investor for the international financial and commercial center, has been completing a concept architectural plan for the project to be submitted to the HCM City People’s Committee for approval.
“This project is of significant importance, not only for the development of Thu Thiem Urban Area, but also for HCM City’s integration process,” said Son.
The major projects in the center of the urban area also include an 86-storey observation tower to be located on an 8.6-ha area.
A joint venture between Tien Phuoc Co and Keppel Land is performing necessary formalities to get a license for the project.
The other projects such as the central square, the riverside park and the public works will begin after the 1/500 zoning plan is completed by the end of 2012.
Son said infrastructure development projects must be completed by the end of 2015, to create favorable conditions for the development of other projects.
Software park project
The Thu Thiem Urban Area Authority has also asked the city administration to reduce the land granted to the Vietnam – Japan Tri Thuc Park (Vija Brain Park) Project which was invested in by the Vija PowerSource.
The joint venture broke ground for construction of the US$610 million software park covering 10.3 ha in Thu Thiem Urban Area in December 2008.
However, due to financial problems caused by the global economic downturn, Vija Brain PowerSource asked the city administration to scale down the project, reducing its area to 3.3 ha.
Duong Cong Luan, head of the Thu Thiem Urban Area Authority’s Planning and Investment Division, said the seven ha reduced from the Vija Brain Park project would be allocated to the international hospital project, as previously planned.
In early November, the city authority also revoked the license granted to the $1.2 billion Thu Thiem Software Park in District 2, as requested by the Thu Thiem Urban Area Authority, because the investors of the project had failed to proceed on schedule.
Source: VNS

Saigon Peninsula

23 Dec
VNRE – This modern urban development will include a theme park, residential areas (luxury riverfront villas and premium apartment complexes), office buildings, a deluxe hotel, a public plaza, shopping centers, an international cruise terminal and several supporting amenities.

Investor: Van Thinh Phat Corporation
Location: Phu Thuan Ward, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City
Site area: 1,177,881 sqm.

Ocean Group starts construction Lega Fashion House project

21 Dec
VNRE – On the morning of 20/12, Ocean Group, Gia Dinh Investment and Development Joint Stock Company (GDI), Legamex Corporation held a ceremony Lega Fashion House project  at No.106 February 3rd street, district 10, Hochiminh City.

The project has a total land area of 5,620 m2, 25-storey and 2 basements, with GFA more than 60.000m2. Lega Fashion House is a mixed project combines fashion center, services and office buildings. When in operation Lega Fashion House will be divided into specific business areas such as: fashion center, runway, catwalk, fashion display center, trading center, cinema, conference center, food court and offices for rent… 
The total investment capital of the project is estimated at 800 billion VND, of which Ocean Group contributed 75%, Legamex and GDI contributed  25%. Ocean Bank will provide banking services, capital management and  financial support for entire project.

Source: InfoTV

Year- End Real Estate Market: Pressure for Big Rebates

21 Dec
VNRE – Vietnam real estate market has stepped into the final days in 2011. People’s lack of knowledge about the market has made it gloomier than ever.

Popular apartments to burst
While the medium and high quality department segments mostly stand still in the Vietnam real estate market even as investors have carried out promotion and discount programmes, the average quality apartment segment has attracted lots of interest. In mid November, according to the Northern Dat Xanh Services and Land Joint-stock Company, 75 of the total 90 flats of Dream Town Department (Tay Mo commune, Tu Liem district) with the price of VND17.8 million per sq.m have been sold in the first sale offering. Earlier, this secondary company was also successful in understanding the real demand of people, applying acceptable prices for Tan Viet project (Duc Thuong commune, Hoai Duc district), or Nam Do Complex project (in Truong Dinh street). With the price of around VND 15 million per sq.m, after a month, two major dealers have mostly sold out 150 flats of Tan Viet department, which was carried out by project owners.
In fact, customer demand currently concentrates strongly on segment of popular quality department with the price of around VND 14 – 22 million per sq.m. This definition becomes clearer when real estate market goes into turmoil. However, in order to have purchased products at this moment, project owners must have prepared for at least three years. However back then, medium and high quality apartments were so attractive to customers that few investors thought about it.
In another case, in early November, the information of PetroVietnam Power Land Joint-stock Company (PVL), a secondary company offering flats of Petro Landmark project (District 2, Ho Chi Minh City) with the price of around VND 15.5 million per sq.m pulled in a lot of customers. Regarding PVL representatives, there are hundreds of calls from customers to get information every day. Nevertheless, even though the set prices were considered to be attractive, the selling methods of PVL were not good enough, so the result did not reach expectation.
In the second half of November, the real estate market saw several apartment projects open, like: Golden Palace (urban district Ha Dong), and Green Villas (Hoa Lac). In December, Cleve Van Phu project also started sales when it had finished foundation work.
Furthermore, in Da Nang province, 90 villas and houses of the Empire project did not miss this opportunity to open sales in Hanoi after a period of exploration. The prices range from VND 5.2 billion to VND 6.8 billion, project owners the Thanh Do Group estimated that these prices are very competitive compared to other projects in the same area of Truong Sa line and Ngu Hanh Son district.
Difficulties from many sizes
As information on the real estate market becomes easier to access, it becomes also easier to assess project owners’ strategies. According to real estate experts, project owners who sell at an indifferent level or do not sell at all are those who have financial potential and save their products for further opportunities. Meanwhile, units selling forcibly now, either have prepared with different strategies, or are suffering financial pressure and are forced to sell their products.
The financial shortage and unstable macro-economic situation have obviously influenced people’s thinking. However, from the viewpoint of selling, businessmen also have their objective reason. Around the Tet holiday people’s money source is quite sufficient due to incomes gathered in a whole working year. Therefore, more people are ready to settle down, move, renovate their house or invest in a first property.
In another hand, capital inflows from people living overseas and their interest into the real estate market cannot be ignored. Besides sending money to support their family, their capital inflows run directly into the real estate market.
Mr Nguyen Minh Tuan, Deputy Director of Marketing Consulting Company CBRE, assessed that easing macro-economic indicators such as reduced inflation rate and banks loosening property loan policies are a good premise; in addition, the abundant money savings of people will also liven up the market at the end of year.
“We receive many questions about when is the best time to buy, which means people have demand and their financial potential is high. The fourth quarter is always the most active in the real estate market. Enterprises mostly manage to estimate their profits and employees take stock of their incomes and rewards. Project owners who offer reasonable prices and good proper designs will absolutely attract buyers. Regardless of consumers’ behaviour, project owners who are selling at this moment have surely had long term options. When suppliers try so many ways to approach consumers, there will be various options to fulfil all types of demand,” Mr Tuan added.
Reported by Luong Tuan | VCCI News

Green Urban Areas: New Investment Trend

19 Dec
VNRE Green urban area projects are now a new real estate investment trend, said Phan Thanh Mai, General Secretary of the Vietnam Real Estate Association at a seminar held by Vietnam Urban Planning and Development Association and Hanoi Communications Association in Hanoi on December 10.
Ecopark – Van giang, Hung Yen
The seminar, attracting more than 400 participants, is expected to be an annual event. It draws great attention from businesses and investors with green urban area projects, and is also an opportunity for the investors to plan their future property products.
What is a green urban area?
Mr Tran Ngoc Chinh, Chairman of the Vietnam Urban Planning and Development Association said the “green urban area” is a new concept, and it has attracted special attention from people and real estate investors. The model has become more important in the context of increasing environmental pollution in big cities. More people wish to have a house with open air and green space, along with modern facilities. A green urban area must satisfy seven criteria, including environmentally-friendly space, transport and infrastructure works, and good surrounding environment, Chinh added.
To date, Vietnam does not have any specific concept on green urban areas although a number of legal documents have mentioned green factors such as trees and water area in urban area projects. “In many current new urban areas, investors just aim for profit; therefore they plan little or no green area in their projects. Meanwhile, these areas are a very important living space bringing both economic and cultural value for the projects,” said Dr Luu Duc Hai, Deputy Head of Urban Planning and Development Institute.
Planning problems
According to Mr Hai, to ensure green elements in urban areas, urban planning should prioritise environmentally-friendly space which not only includes parks and water, but also green corridor and belt, ecological town, parks and high-quality agricultural production areas, flower growing areas and green preservation areas.
Mr Le Trong Binh, Head of the Vietnam Institute of Architecture under the Vietnam Association of Architects, said the strategy on Vietnam’s urban area development by 2010 and a vision to 2030 still lacks ecological and green urban area development orientations. A number of new urban areas in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and other big cities include some elements from green and ecological urban area models. However, in reality, due to lack of criteria on green urban areas and research, surveys and classification on urban areas, many current urban areas often set their own standards. The quality of these urban areas depends on assessment of investors’ and people who live there.
Besides, green urban areas in Vietnam face difficulties like weak infrastructure, particularly transport and water supply systems.
Mr Phan Thanh Mai said, with increasing demand for an open living space, green urban areas will be a future investment trend. “Urban areas with significant green space will attract more customers. This is a good opportunity for investors,” Mai emphasised.
According to many experts, investors must put a higher initial investment into green urban area projects, and return on investment takes longer than other kinds of projects. So, the Government needs to have supporting policies for investors to carry out these projects. In addition, management agencies should apply strict sanctions on investors who fail to meet standards for green urban areas.
Source: VCCI News

IHG signs deals for Crowne Plaza hotels with BIM Group

16 Dec
VNRE Expansion in Vientiane marks IHG’s ‘arrival’ in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, claiming presence in all capital cities across IndoChina; Phu Quoc Resort will be the fourth Crowne Plaza property in Vietnam.

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), the world’s largest hotel group by number of rooms, today announced the signing of agreements with leading Vietnamese conglomerate, the BIM Group, for two new-build Crowne Plaza properties in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) and Phu Quoc, Vietnam, both scheduled to open in 2015. Both projects will add about 600 rooms to IHG’s portfolio.
As the first IHG-managed property in Lao PDR, Crowne Plaza Vientiane will mark the hotel group’s strategic presence in all capital cities in IndoChina – in addition to Hanoi, Vietnam and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Crowne Plaza Phu Quoc Resort will be the brand’s fourth property in Vietnam.
“The BIM Group is a strategic partner for IHG in the fast-growing IndoChina market. The group’s success in the various businesses speaks highly of its leadership and influence, complementing IHG’s strength and development plans in the region,” said Jan Smits, Chief Executive Officer, IHG Asia, Middle East and Africa. “The debut of the first Crowne Plaza hotel in Vientiane will further invigorate tourism in this part of the world. Crowne Plaza Vientiane aims to generate a new buzz and create additional employment opportunities in this upcoming travel and business destination, as well as provide a comprehensive range of services and products for the MICE sector.” BIM Group’s business interests encompass hotel development, real estate, infrastructure development and construction, and transportation, amongst others.
Crowne Plaza Vientiane
The 200-room Crowne Plaza Vientiane will be positioned on a 2-hectare prime area within the city centre of Vientiane, capital of Lao PDR. It will be located along Rue Samsenthai, adjoining the junction of Rue Setthathilath where the prominent statue of King Fa Ngum stands. Fa Ngum was the first king and founder of the Laotian Kingdom of Lan Xang. 
Located along the Lao PDR-Thailand border, Vientiane is an important gateway and business destination in IndoChina. The city hosts local, regional and international firms, embassies, local government offices, as well as global organisations such as the Asian Development Bank, the UN and the World Bank. It is also a popular transit point for leisure travellers en route to Luang Prabang, a UNESCO world heritage site, and other popular destinations throughout Lao PDR and the rest of IndoChina.
Crowne Plaza Phu Quoc Resort
Located on the southwest coast of Phu Quoc Island in the Gulf of Thailand, 50kms from the Vietnamese mainland and a 50-minute flight from Ho Chi Minh City, Crowne Plaza Phu Quoc Resort will be part of a 155-hectare integrated resort development site in Duong Dong district along Long Beach. Housing 400 rooms, including 95 residences and 5 villas, the hotel will occupy 10 hectares on the site with an exclusive beachfront.
The Phu Quoc International Airport is currently under construction and expected to open in 2013, in time for the next phase of tourism and economic growth in the island – be it from leisure travellers, business travellers, or MICE visitors.

Source: Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts / IHG

Vietnam real estate projects attractive to Singapore

8 Dec
VNRE – Businesses from Singapore are seeking opportunities and accelerating investment in Vietnam ’s real estate market.

CapitaLand Holdings of Singapore said it plans to increase its investment in real estate in Vietnam from 400 million to almost 2 billion Singaporean dollars in the next three to five years. Meanwhile, Keppel Land is pouring its investment into the Saigon Centre trade complex and Saigon Sports City residential area projects in Ho Chi Minh City and southeastern Dong Nai province.
Secretary General of the Vietnam Real Estate Association Phan Thanh Mai said that real estate remains a field that attracts Singaporean businesses’ attention. In the context where Vietnam ’s projects are in need of capital, it is an opportunity for investors to seek capital and experience from Singaporean partners, he said.
Savills Vietnam Deputy Managing Director Neil MacGregor recently said that despite global financial crisis, Vietnam is ranked as one of the leading destinations for Singaporean investors in Southeast Asia, surpassing Malaysia and India .
According to a survey conducted by the ASEAN Economic Advisory Council in 2010, up to 49 per cent of 120 businesses operating in Singapore chose Vietnam to be their investment destination in the next three years.
At present, Singapore is implementing 50 real estate investment projects totalling more than $7.6 billion in Vietnam.
Source: VNA