New faces to brighten real estate market

March 16, 2015 | 12:32
Foreign developers have returned to the Vietnamese real estate market with a series of significant investments.

Several foreign newcomers have major property developments- Photo: Le Toan

Apart from existing experienced real estate developers eager to expand their portfolios, recent times have seen the emergence of new companies willing to test their ambitious development plans.

Dewan International has made a significant impact as the new arrival has focused on its blue-riband Nha Trang-based Phoenix Beach project valued at over $1.25 billion and slated for completion by 2020. The giant investment boasts 60 components designed to transform Nha Trang into a major tourism destination. The components comprise a boardwalk, cafes, restaurants, sky restaurants, clubs, shopping malls, and 5-star and budget hotels.

The Phoenix Beach is part of a rare group of foreign investments valued at over $1 billion.

Russian investors have also confirmed development of the Flowers Resort near Nha Trang. The project valued at roughly $88.8 million incorporates restaurants along with bars, spa and fitness centres, swimming pools and multi-functional halls.

Another new comer is the Blenheim Real Estate Group with its $302 million Green Tech City investment in Hanoi.

The developer will develop a 57.5ha ‘sustainable urban district’ incorporating existing villages, and eventually housing a population of more than 20,000 people.

The plans apparently will ‘expand and reinforce the local traditions and green urban character of Hanoi.’

Japan’s Creed Group has also plunged into the Vietnamese market with the City Gate Tower project in Ho Chi Minh City while Japan’s office-for-lease specialist Daibiru has debuted as new operator of the CornerStone Building in Hanoi after a successful purchase from VIBank.

Existing real estate developers such as Keppel Land, Sunwah and many others are actively expanding their portfolios in Vietnam.

In the residential segment, Singapore’s Keppel Land has bought a $26.7 million residential project in Ho Chi Minh City from the Tien Phuoc Company. A Keppel Land subsidiary also got the go-ahead for a proposed $102 million real estate project in the city.

The Hong Kong-based Tung Shing Group also contributed to the real estate market, buying a 53 per cent stake in Movenpick Saigon.

Fellow Hong Kong firm Sunwah also received good news after obtaining an investment licence for a $200 million development in Ho Chi Minh City, joining their high-valued existing Sunwah Tower and Saigon Pearl developments in the city.

According to Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, a range of other foreign developers are queuing up awaiting official investment licences.

These include a $2.5 billion Vung Ro Bay resort complex invested in by Rockefeller family backed alternative investment management firm Rock Rose Group in Phu Yen, and Lotte Group’s $2 billion ‘smart city’ project in Ho Chi Minh City.

According to the FIA, Sunwah, Warburg Pincus and Texhong are pouring hundreds of millions of US dollar into Vietnam’s property market as their Hong Kong domestic market falters.

With more than $2.54 billion of new granted and capital increasing of last year, direct investment capital into real estate has reached a 4-year high.

FIA figures revealed property was the second most attractive sector to foreign investors in Vietnam last year.

This figure reached its peak in 2008 with a record $23 billion. This plunged to $7.4 billion in 2009 and $6.8 billion in 2010. By 2011 it had fallen to $845 million and $950 million in 2013.

By By Bich Ngoc

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