Berjaya takes backward step

March 13, 2013 | 14:44
Malaysian real estate giant Berjaya Land Berhad last week unveiled its plan to downsize its investment portfolio in Vietnam.  

Nguyen Hoai Nam, chief executive officer of Berjaya Land Berhard in Vietnam, said the first project under the restructuring scheme would be the  Vietnam International Financial Centre, located in Ho Chi Minh City.

Accordingly, the proposed centre will be scaled-down by half, from five towers of 39 to 48 floors and a 600,000 square metre floor to two towers with half the floor space. Nam said the new proposal had been submitted to the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee for approval.

Five years ago, Berjaya proposed to invest $930 million in this multi-function project, including offices for lease, a five-star hotel, serviced apartments and trading centre. Nam said the reworked project would better fit the off colour real estate market.

Berjaya will also scale-down its second project Vietnam International University Township (VIUT), also located in Ho Chi Minh City. Also in 2008, the company was given investment certificate to develop the VIUT, with an estimated investment cost of $3.5 billion.

The VIUT is located on 925 hectares in Hoc Mon district. So far Berjaya has cleared 200ha of land and Nam said the company proposed to first invest in 150ha because it was challenging to develop the whole project at this time.

Nam said the office for lease segment faced an oversupply, which would temporarily push Berjaya’s projects into the shade. Meanwhile in Dong Nai province, Berjaya also announced it would withdraw from the $2 billion Nhon Trach New Development City, after finishing its design plan.

A Dong Nai Investment and Planning Department official said the province would find other investors to implement this project.

Berjaya is also the owner of  Sheraton and InterContinental hotels in Hanoi, Long Beach resort in Phu Quoc island of Kien Giang province and the $500 million Hanoi Garden City residential in Hanoi’s Long Bien district.

By Bich Ngoc

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