Foreign investors looking to acquire operating cash-generating assets

By Quynh Chi - Mar 16, 2019 | 10:29 AM GMT+7

TheLEADERResidential players remained active while office continued to be one of the most exciting property sectors across the region in the last quarter of 2018, latest release from Savills reveals.

Foreign investors looking to acquire operating cash-generating assets
Office continued to be one of the most exciting property sectors. Photo by Forty Media.

VinaCapital Opportunity Fund Limited transferred 34.18 per cent interest in Green Park Estate, a 15.7-ha mixed-use development project in Tan Phu district, Ho Chi Minh City. Vinaland, another VinaCapital fund, holds 63.47 per cent interest in the project but plans to divest in the near future. 

Meanwhile, Vinhomes, the reputable local developer, announced plans for two new township projects including Vincity Ocean Park in Gia Lam district and Vincity Sportia in Nam Tu Liem district, Hanoi. These major projects will provide a comprehensive range of facilities and parks for health, education, entertainment, leisure, and outdoor sports.

Meanwhile, office continued to be one of the most exciting property sectors across the region in the last quarter of 2018. Ho Chi Minh City enjoyed its best performance of the last five years, with average rents increasing 8 per cent year-on-year and a very high occupancy rate of 97 per cent, while Hanoi recorded a 3 per cent year-on-year increase in average gross rent with improved Grade A performance in non-CBD areas.

Seeing great potential in the market, WeWork, a US-based co-working space provider, entered Vietnam with its first flagship site at E-Town Central in Ho Chi Minh City.

Savills Hanoi director Matthew Powell says that there is massive interest from foreign investors at the moment, mostly new entrants, who are keen to explore opportunities. This interest is mainly coming from Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Singapore. The US, European, and global funds are also investigating heavily.

"All the commercial and residential sectors are targets. Most of the investor interest comes from funds who are not looking to develop, so are looking to acquire operating cash-generating assets - office properties, retail malls, 4 and 5-star hotels", says Powell.

Foreign direct investment remains the key to Vietnam's economic development, with over half of newly-registered capital coming from the processing and manufacturing sector, boosting industrial real estate. 

In November 2018, Mapletree Logistics Trust announced their acquisition of a Unilever warehouse in Vietnam-Singapore Park I for approximately $31 million. The warehouse will be leased back to Unilever for ten years.

Last December, Amata Corporation, a Thailand-based industrial developer, commenced construction of Song Khoai industrial park, part of the mega project Amata City Ha Long in Quang Ninh province. 

This is a strategic step for Amata in expanding to the north of Vietnam, following Amata Bien Hoa industrial zone and Amata Long Thanh, both located in southern provinces. Covering an area of 5,789 hectares, the new project is planned as an integrated industrial city leading towards a smart city, with a total estimated investment capital of over $1.6 billion. 

According to Savills Hanoi, with the promising prospect of many real estate sectors in Vietnam market, it is expected that investment flows will be directed to a wider variety of sectors, including opportunity assets like industrial and logistics properties.