HCMC mall traders protest planned rent hikes

By Ngoc Le, Thanh Nien News

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An Dong Plaza traders closed their kiosks on Thursday morning to protest the management board’s plan to increase rents. Photo: Doc Lap

Hundreds of traders in a Ho Chi Minh City shopping mall closed their kiosks on Thursday morning to protest the management board’s plan to increase rents. 
The traders gathered in front of the An Dong Plaza in District 5, raising banners to protest the plan.
Two weeks ago, the management board of An Dong Plaza announced that traders whose 10-year rent contracts with the shopping mall’s investor expire on February 7, 2015 will have to accept new rents or return their kiosks. 
The new rents are up to seven times higher than the current rents. 
In 2004, a kiosk’s rent ranged from US$19,000-28,000 for a 10-year contract. Under the new plan, the rent will be $60,000-20,000 for a five-year contract. 
More than 160 traders lodged a complaint with the city's Department of Industry and Trade and the District 5 People’s Committee, but the agencies said it was just a matter between the private investor and traders, prompting the traders to stage the protest.

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