Elusive Alpha King to feel brunt of angered buyers

June 09, 2021 | 20:55
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At least one homebuyer of the former Alpha City project is threatening to go to court with Alpha King, the Hong Kong-based developer which transferred the project to new ones, but has thus failed to fulfil its obligations to former customers of its sold units.
1547 p28 elusive alpha king to feel brunt of angered buyers
Elusive Alpha King to feel brunt of angered buyers

The customer told VIR that for a year, she has continuously approached Alpha King’s office in Ho Chi Minh City to ask for a refund of her deposit after purchasing three units.

VIR reported in March that several of Alpha King’s projects had been transferred to other developers, while representatives of the company were unable to be contacted. In 2019 and 2020, various parts of the business were handed over to others, while leadership at Alpha King changed with little information being available.

After many efforts, last week the aggrieved buyer received a call from a woman speaking on behalf of the landlord of Alpha City, asking her to re-submit dossiers for further proceedings. The caller was assumed to be from Golden Hill, the landlord of the project site in which Alpha King was previously the developer.

Golden Hill was founded in 2017 with the legal capital of $4.3 million. Only months later, its investment capital increased to over $121 million with new contributors including Ford Master International Ltd., Golden Hill Investment Co., Ltd., and Quality Plus Development Ltd.. All three companies are based in the British Virgin Islands.

“This staff member said that Alpha King is now in a difficult financial position but she would forward my dossier to higher levels. I do not know what Alpha King will do now but if they keep delaying my request for a deposit refund, I will take stricter solutions, including taking them to court,” the homebuyer said.

In 2019, she signed a contract to buy three units in Alpha City, located in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1, with a total value of just under $1.3 million. Around $130,000 was sent to the developer under the deposit contract.

Despite launching to massive fanfare in 2018, the project quickly joined many others in suffering from crippling delays. Nevertheless, according to the deposit contract between Alpha King and the buyer, she would be refunded the deposit if the project cannot be implemented on schedule.

In the middle of last year, the buyer requested that Alpha King refunds her deposit for the units, but has yet to see a penny.

“I am now perplexed and frustrated. The deposit that I have poured into these units in Alpha City would have brought about hundreds of million VND of interest if I left it in the bank in 2019, but I have nothing now. I am facing many difficulties in trying to contact the developer to have my deposit returned,” she said.

Masterise Homes, a domestic developer with a range of premium real estate projects in Vietnam, was reported to have replaced Alpha King as lead developer of the project earlier this year.

VIR contacted Masterise Homes in regards to its policy, if any, over former buyers who had bought units from Alpha King, but no representatives were offered for comment.

With an inactive website and telephone line for most of this year at least, Alpha King representatives also remain elusive. It is believed that its foreign leaders left Vietnam, while all other high-ranking officers were moved to other developers.

The group’s major shareholders were Alpha King Investment Ltd., based in Hong Kong with 93.3 per cent, and the rest contributed by other individuals, including two Chinese investors. In 2020, after reports of changes in management, the position of Alpha King chairman was returned to Chiu Bing Keung Kenneth, one of the two founding shareholders.

Alpha King was established in Vietnam in 2012, developing complex real estate projects of office buildings, trade centres, and luxury apartment projects.

In 2018, Alpha King acquired of a range of mergers and acquisitions to develop the first three high-end projects: Alpha City, Alpha Town, and Centennial Saigon. All of those projects were located in prime locations in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, at sky-high prices.

By Quynh Chau

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