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Vietnam is the third largest market for CapitaLand in Southeast Asia
Friday,  Aug 10, 2018,17:48 (GMT+7)

Vietnam is the third largest market for CapitaLand in Southeast Asia

Mr. Chen Lian Pang.

As Singapore and Vietnam are marking the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties (on August 1) days ahead of the Singapore National Day (on August 9), could you please share with us your feeling during this special occasion?

Mr. Chen Lian Pang: Relations between Singapore and Vietnam have grown from strength to strength since the two countries established bilateral diplomatic relations on August 1, 1973. The two countries have seen frequent exchange of high-ranking visits. Recently in May 2018, President Halimah Yacob and PM Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore welcomed PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc in his first official visit to Singapore, which is a milestone on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties and five years of the strategic partnership.

Singapore is always one of the top 10 trade partners and the third biggest investor of Vietnam with 2,000 projects worth US$43 billion. Against that background, CapitaLand is one of the biggest and the most successful Singapore companies in Vietnam. The company, which first entered Vietnam in 1994 through Ascott, has now had a diverse investment portfolio consisting of 12 residential developments, two integrated developments and 21 serviced residences with around 4,700 units, across six cities in Vietnam.
Vietnam is the third largest market for CapitaLand in Southeast Asia, after Singapore and Malaysia.  

What are the key achievements of CapitaLand in Vietnam?

So far, CapitaLand Vietnam has developed its tenth residential project in HCMC and its second once in Hanoi.
In HCMC, key projects include The Vista, Vista Verde, PARCSpring, Krista, Kris Vue, Feliz en Vista, D1MENSION, D’Edge, D2Eight, and De La Sol, while in Hanoi, we have Mulberry Lane and Seasons Avenue. We are currently focusing on mid-high-end and luxury property segments.

Regarding new investment, on March 2018 we acquired a majority stake in a company that owns a prime site for our first integrated development in Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi. Located in Tay Ho district with unblocked views of the scenic West Lake, the upcoming 25-storey integrated development will comprise a 380-unit residence, around 230,000 square feet of office space and over 208,000 square feet of retail space.

As I have mentioned early on, Vietnam is a key growth market for CapitaLand and we are seeing strong demand for vibrant, quality live-work-play spaces with rapid urbanization and the evolving lifestyles of young and mobile Vietnamese.  Harnessing our vast experience across different real estate types, this upcoming integrated development will offer the best-in-class in homes, offices and malls which will attract young Vietnamese urbanites, multinational companies and local start-ups. 

Please share your business result during 2017 and first haft of 2018?

2017 marked a record year of growth for CapitaLand in Vietnam with the highest value in home sales achieved. In HCMC, d’Edge Thao Dien, a 273-unit residential development achieved record sales, selling out in less than two months after its launch in July. This is a testament of customers’ confidence in the CapitaLand brand and underscores strong demand for our quality projects in Vietnam. 

CapitaLand also launched D1MENSION in HCMC. Located in District 1, it is the city’s first branded residence comprising a luxury residential tower and a serviced residence section, both managed by our serviced residence unit, The Ascott Limited, which will also offer concierge services to the residents.

In Hanoi, the 1,300-unit Seasons Avenue, located at the heart of the New Urban Area, topped out on schedule in March 2017 and has sold more than 80% of the units as of December 31, 2017.

In the first half of 2018, we continued our residential sales to be a market leader not only in terms of size but in terms of project quality. Currently, we are developing an exclusive landed development called “d2eight”, which featured an exclusive community of 28 shop-houses. In addition, we are also developing De La Sol in HCMC’s District 4.

This year, CapitaLand Limited has successfully set up its second commercial fund in the country, namely CapitaLand Vietnam Commercial Value-Added Fund (CVCVF), which has closed at US$130 million. With a fund life span of eight years, CapitaLand will hold a 50% stake in CVCVF. The fund will focus on Grade A commercial properties in Vietnam. 

We have more products innovation, in terms of amenities and design. We are confident to our quality and we can keep our promise to deliver on time. So, we have three good things: product innovation, on time and good quality. I think this is our advantages in the local market.

What challenges are you facing when investing in property in Vietnam market?

One of the challenges we face is acquiring new land bank with favorable parameters. However, with more than 24 years of experience in Vietnam, we have learned to overcome issues and challenges to steadily develop projects across six cities in Vietnam.

To stay abreast of the competition, we strive to offer better customer service through product and service innovation. For instance, we set up the Customer Relations Department, which assists buyers in every step of the property purchase process, ranging from payment procedures, handover of units, to maintenance of the development.

What are your major targets and development plans in Vietnam in the years to come?

We hope to expand our brand in Vietnam over the next five years. Currently, we have around 350 employees and hope to increase this to 450-500 in time to come as we scale up our operations in the residential segment and target to acquire more office commercial buildings and serviced apartments, perhaps even building a Raffles City (mixed development) in Vietnam.

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