Owners of big properties in downtown Saigon change
The ownership of real estate projects in downtown Ho Chi Minh City has changed quietly, including the Legend Hotel, Vincom Center A, Diamond Plaza ....
Singapore’s Mapletree buys Kumho Asiana Plaza
MapletreeInvestments has acquired Kumho Asiana Plaza Saigon in District 1, HCM City from Kumho Industrial Company and Asiana Airlines, at a cost of US$107 million.
Kumho Asiana Plaza is a prime mixed-use asset with close to 146,000 square metres (in gross floor area. It comprises Grade A offices, highly-rated serviced apartments and a hotel managed by InterContinental Hotels Group, as well as a variety of food & beverage offerings.
Occupancies for the office and serviced apartment components, as well as the F&B podium, have been consistently above 90 per cent, Mapletree said.
The asset is located along Le Duan Boulevard and Hai Ba Trung Street in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City's central business district. It is also close to the city's major landmarks and tourist attractions such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon.
Mapletree began investing in Vietnam in 2005, and today owns and manages a portfolio comprising office, retail, industrial, logistics, and serviced apartment assets. Including Kumho Asiana Plaza, the group now has over S$1 billion in assets under management in the country.
Lotte buys into Diamond Plaza, Legend Hotel
Legend Hotel Saigon
South Korea’s Lotte Group last March replaced Posco as the foreign investor in a joint venture which owns and operates the Diamond Plaza, a commercial, office and apartment complex in downtown HCM City. Lotte has joined the management of the Diamond Plaza after acquiring 70% of the project.
Diamond Plaza was inaugurated in August 2000 with 22 floors, including two basements. The building, which overlooks the landmark Notre Dame Cathedral in HCMC’s District 1 and had an initial investment of some US$60 million, was the joint venture between Construction Corporation No. 1 (CC1) and Posco Engineering & Construction Co. (Posec) under Posco Group.
The Diamond Plaza deal is yet another move of Lotte to deepen its involvement in Vietnam’s real estate market, particularly the commercial property segment, via mergers and acquisitions (M&A).
In 2013 Lotte bought a 70% stake of Japan’s Kotobuki at the Legend Hotel Saigon and the remaining 30% is now held by Hai Thanh Company, according to foreign property service providers. The five-star hotel was renamed Lotte Legend Saigon in April last year and is now under the management of the hotel and resort arm of Lotte.
The group is expanding its presence in supermarkets and other areas as well. Retailer LotteMart has opened a commercial center in the Pico Plaza building in HCM City’s Tan Binh District. Earlier, a Pico shopping center in Hanoi was turned into a Lotte property.
At present, Lotte is proceeding with a US$2-billion property complex in District 2, HCMC. The Korean group will cooperate with Japanese investors to develop the Eco Smart City project in Thu Thiem New Urban Area.
The group has invested billions of U.S. dollars in projects in hotel, food, supermarket, cinema, construction and home shopping sectors in Vietnam.
VIPD buys Vincom Center A
In a deal worth VND9.823 trillion, Vingroup, which is owned by the richest stock millionaire Pham Nhat Vuong, transferred the project to VIPD, the Vietnam Infrastructure and Property Development Group, in June 2013 making a profit of VND4.3 trillion.
Vincom Center A is located at No. 53 Le Thanh Ton, 171 Dong Khoi, 6A Le Loi and 116 Nguyen Hue in the central district No 1 in HCM City.
It’s comprised of six basements and 9 stories, including three basements for car parking, while the other three basements and four stories have been used for shopping mall and an amusement area.
A five star hotel is situated on the 5-9th floors. Vincom Center A was inaugurated in October 2012.
GMD Tower sold to CJ
HoSE-listed Gemadept Corporation in December 2014 sold the 22-floor Gemadept Tower in Ho Chi Minh City to four subsidiaries of Korean CJ Group.
Instead of selling the asset directly, Gemadept founded the wholly-owned firm Marproco, using the tower as paid-in capital, then sold its interest in the newly-established concern. However, Gemadept only sold 85 percent of Marproco.
Gemadept’s moves to sharply increase Marproco’s charter capital to VND936 billion ($44.3 million) from the previous VND6 billion ($284,158), has caused Vietcombank Securities (VCBS) to estimate the building’s value at VND930 billion ($44 million). As the asset has input costs of VND218.4 billion ($10.3 million), the deal has earned the company VND711.6 billion ($33.7 million).
The building earned Gemadept more than VND64 billion ($3 million) from office leasing in the first nine months of 2013, figures unchanged against the same period last year.
GMD Tower, located at No. 6 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1, is a class A office building with total area of 16,000 m2, 22 floors and 2 basements.
Compiled by Khuyen Bui