Singapore's Mapletree finds Vietnamese property market lucrative: report

Thanh Nien News

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 SC Vivocity, run by Singapore-based Mapletree Investments, officially opened in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City on September 20, 2015. Photo credit: Foody
As its real estate market is recovering, Vietnam is now the focus of Singapore-based Mapletree Investments in Southeast Asia, where it aims to raise its assets under management to US$1.5-2 billion by 2019 from the current $687.9 million, The Strait Times reported Monday.
Vietnam accounts for the bulk of Mapletree's Southeast Asian business outside Singapore at the moment, with yields on its projects here range from mid single digits to high teens, CEO Wendy Koh was quoted as saying.
Mapletree is considering office and residential projects in Vietnam, and is open to both completed assets and development assets on a selective basis, she told the newspaper.
Koh did not deny a possibility that Mapletree will resume its plan for a Vietnam-focused private equity fund now that the country's property market is showing signs of recovery.
However, she said, in order to bring the plan back, it needs to have the right assets and there needs to be "strong appetite" for investments.
Mapletree first entered in the country in 2005 through logistics sector. The company, which now has a total of S$28.4 billion ($20.26 billion) in assets under management across Asia, has expanded to industrial parks and acquired several development assets in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
In the southern hub, the company opened its first shopping mall SC Vivocity in Vietnam on Sunday (September 20), about five months after its soft opening. The mall, which is part of a 4.4-hectare mixed-used project co-developed with Saigon Co.op Investment Development JSC, reportedly boasts about 700,000 visitors a month.
With "fairly strong economic growth," especially compared with the rest of Southeast Asia, strong income growth along with rising urbanization and foreign direct investments, Vietnam will remain an important part of the region for Mapletree, Koh was quoted as saying.

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