Hongkong Land, Sumitomo back out of Vietnam ‘golden’ property project: reports

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 A "golden" land on Dong Khoi Street, where a US$331.3 million plus project was planned. Photo credit: Nguoi Lao Dong

Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have allowed UK-owned Hongkong Land and Japan's Sumitomo Realty & Development to withdraw from a coveted property project at one of the best locations in the city downtown. 
Local media reported Thursday that it is unclear why the companies wanted to quit the US$331.3-million-plus project, less than two years after securing land rights in July 2013 following a competitive bidding process. 
Upon the land assignment, the city's authorities said if the investors failed to carry out the development without justifications, they would lose their deposits and would be banned from bidding for other projects within three years, news website VnExpress said. 
They were not allowed to transfer their contracts to another investor either, it added. 
In the meantime, authorities said they will to organize a tender to choose new investors.
The city’s plan was to have a complex including a shopping mall, a hotel, a financial center and a gallery built on the 9,800-square-meter land on Dong Khoi Street in District 1.
It is often dubbed a “golden” lot of land because of its sought-after location. 
Under the original plan, a total of over VND7.16 trillion would be invested in the project.
Around half of that amount was believed to be earmarked for land-related costs alone. 
Nearly 70 investors expressed their interest when the project was first announced in 2009.

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