|Lim Hua Tiong, CEO of Frasers Property Vietnam |
The globe has suffered a downturn due to the impact of the pandemic. What answers does Frasers Property Vietnam have to maintain stable business in the local market?
Vietnam’s real estate market still has huge growth potential, despite the impact from COVID-19. Strong capital is the key to success in real estate business and at Frasers Property Vietnam we always maintain a strong balance sheet. This enables us to hold on to long-term investment assets during a recession and gives us opportunities to secure good investment.
We currently own and manages four projects, and our focus is to work closely with our office and serviced apartment tenants during this difficult period. The health and safety of our tenants remains our key priority and focus.
For our residential project at Thao Dien in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 2, we continue to monitor the construction quality and progress, to ensure we can deliver a quality product on time to our homebuyers.
The real estate market here is ranked in the emerging markets of the region. What is the importance of this market to Frasers Property?
Vietnam is one of the key focus markets for us. Our management team has grown from 13 to 35 people (managerial level) in the last 12 months.
Frasers Property made its maiden foray into Vietnam in 1999 with the development of the 21-storey retail and office building Melinh Point Tower in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1. After this we built a stellar reputation in office management and embarked on a mixed development project in District 2. This project has become one of the landmark projects in Ho Chi Minh City.
|Melinh Point - a Grade A boutique office building in Ho Chi Minh City’s central business districts |
What do these ventures offer?
Melinh Point Tower boasts 18,000 square metres of office space with panoramic views of the city and Saigon river.
After 20 years of successful operation, the property is currently undergoing major asset enhancements to provide a better working environment for the tenants. The new face of Melinh will be ready for the market in the fourth quarter.
As part of a group sustainability initiative, our development team decided to spend more capital expenditure to transform this 20-year-old building into a BCA Green Mark Building through this renovation. We committed to providing a better working environment and services to our tenants.
Meanwhile, the project in Thao Dien is a 32-storey residential-cum-commercial project located in Ho Chi Minh City’s buzzing District 2. It comprises 333 apartments, 12 townhouses, six villas, and a 32-storey serviced office, with an additional 13 shop lots to provide residents and office tenants with the added convenience of on-site retail amenities.
We launched sales of the condominium apartments in 2018, shop lots in July 2019, and villas and townhouses in December 2019, and have sold out all units on every launch. We have received very positive feedback from buyers so far.
At the end of July, we just held the topping-out ceremony which marks a major milestone for our Thao Dien project, getting closer to the concept of creating a high life for buyers, as we committed.
|Thao Dien - a mixed-use development in District 2 |
What can you say about your group’s portfolio in Vietnam and the development strategy in the coming time, and are there any other real estate segments the group is interested in?
Other than residential projects, Frasers Property is looking to grow its commercial portfolio and is also exploring investments into the industrial space. Our hospitality team is also exploring serviced apartment opportunities.
We are committed to its investment and projects in Vietnam and we will continue to build up our footprint and branding in the Vietnamese market by expansion of commercial, industrial, and residential classes.
What are your expectations for the country’s real estate market in the future?
I am personally bullish on Vietnam’s real estate market. The coronavirus situation may slow down the market, especially the hospitality and retail sector, but affordable housing and decentralisation offices will remain stable during this period.
However, with strong economic fundamentals and strong urbanisation rate, I foresee the market will continue to have a healthy run for at least the next 10 years.
How has your group been able to meet high standards across its business and projects towards sustainable development?
Sustainability is a key contributor to our success and our unifying idea is at the core of all we do. Frasers Property aims to leverage opportunities provided by sustainability to enhance the experiences of both our customers and our employees.
We aspire to be a leader and set industry benchmarks in building sustainable communities. We will continue to embrace a progressive mindset and collaborate with our stakeholders on a holistic sustainability journey towards fulfilling our aspirations.
One of the most outstanding targets which Frasers Property has set is aiming to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050, while 80 per cent of all our buildings will be green-certified by 2024.
Additionally, our focus lies on implementing health and wellbeing plans, creating and implementing responsible sourcing policy for materials and supply, and providing sustainability training for our leadership. Moreover, the development goals of our group include to complete climate risk assessments on all assets, commence the implementation of asset level adaptation and mitigation plans, and establish and implement an annual water usage reduction target for all owned and managed assets.