AS ONE OF THE LARGEST AND PIONEER FOREIGN REAL ESTATE INVESTORS IN VIETNAM, KEPPEL LAND HAS BEEN PRIVILEGED TO PLAY A PART IN VIETNAM’S URBANISATION OVER THE YEARS. SEIzING MORE OPPORTUNITIES, KEPPEL LAND TOOK A 40% INTEREST IN A JOINT VENTURE TO DEVELOP A PRIME WATERFRONT SITE IN THE THU THIEM NEW URBAN AREA, AND ENTERED INTO A BOND SUBSCRIPTION AGREEMENT WITH LEADING AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPER, NAM LONG INVESTMENT CORPORATION (NLG).
PRIME WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENT
Keppel Land entered into a conditional investment agreement on 2 March 2016 to subscribe for 40% equity interest in Empire City Limited Liability Company (Empire City) for a total consideration of US$93.9 million (approximately $131.6 million).
The other joint venture partners in Empire City include Vietnamese companies Tien Phuoc Real Estate Joint Stock Company (Tien Phuoc) and Tran Thai Real Estate Co. Ltd (Tran Thai), as well as Hong Kong- based real estate private equity fund Gaw Capital Partners.
Keppel Land and its partners will jointly develop a prime 14.6-hectare waterfront site in the Thu Thiem New Urban Area, located in District 2 of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam. The planned development will comprise premium residential apartments, of ce and retail properties as well as an 86-storey integrated mixed-use tower complex.
Mr Ang Wee Gee, CEO of Keppel Land, said, “As one of the largest and pioneer foreign real estate investors in Vietnam, Keppel Land has been privileged to play a part in Vietnam’s urbanisation over the years. Today, Vietnam, especially the fast-growing HCMC, is one of Keppel Land’s key growth markets.
“We are very excited to participate in the growth of the up-and-coming Thu Thiem New Urban Area, which is poised to become the future central business district (CBD) of HCMC. Our planned projects will bring the best in waterfront and urban lifestyles to HCMC, as well as augment Keppel Land’s quality portfolio of prime residential and commercial properties in the city.”
Overlooking the Saigon River and the current central business district of HCMC, Thu Thiem New Urban Area is planned to be developed into the largest economic, commercial and nancial centre of HCMC, offering cultural, entertainment and recreational activities. With the completion of the East-West Highway and the Thu Thiem Tunnel, it now takes only ve minutes to drive from the waterfront site to the existing CBD.
According to the latest market reports, Vietnam’s macroeconomic conditions continue to improve, supported by high gross domestic product growth, low in ation and high consumer spending. The country’s participation in the Trans-Pacic Partnership and the ASEAN Economic Community will spur foreign direct investment in the real estate sector.
In addition, the recent relaxation of the Housing Law and Real Estate Business Law, improvements in public infrastructure, growing middle class, as well as high urbanisation rate will continue to drive the demand for quality homes and investment grade of ces.
Tien Phuoc and Tran Thai are Keppel Land’s current joint venture partners for various projects in HCMC. Together with Tien Phuoc, Keppel Land successfully completed and sold out residential project The Estella and is currently developing Estella Heights, which has seen a strong take-up,
with more than 680 units sold to date. Keppel Land, Tien Phuoc and
Tran Thai are currently developing the South Rach Chiec township development which is slated for launch later this year.
Gaw Capital Partners is an international real estate private equity rm, with assets under management of over US$10 billion, invested in multiple asset classes in Asia, US and Europe.
EMPIRE CITY PROJECT IN DISTRICT 2, HO CHI MINH CITY
On 8 April 2016, Keppel Land, through its indirect subsidiary, Ibeworth Pte. Ltd. (Ibeworth), entered into a subscription agreement with NLG, a leading affordable housing developer in HCMC, for the subscription of VND 500 billion (approximately $30.4 million) convertible bonds due in 2020 with a coupon rate of 7% per annum to be issued by NLG.
Keppel Land may convert the bond into ordinary shares of NLG, subject to conversion conditions. The conversion price will be VND 23,500 per share.
Earlier last year, Keppel Land, through Ibeworth, subscribed for
7.1 million new ordinary shares of NLG, representing approximately
5% stake of the company, at a purchase consideration of about VND140.6 billion ($8.7 billion). If the total principal amount of the bonds are converted into shares, Keppel Land will hold up to approximately 15% in the enlarged share capital of NLG.
Mr Ang said, “We are happy to extend our partnership with NLG, a listed company in Vietnam and a recognised leader in the affordable housing market in HCMC. The subscription of the convertible bonds follows our initial investment in NLG last year and demonstrates our strong partnership with NLG as well as Keppel Land’s commitment to continue to participate in the company’s growth.”