A Singaporean all-rounder rises high

08:00 | 09/08/2018
Mapletree, one of the leading Singapore-based real estate development, investment, capital and property management companies, considers Vietnam its largest Southeast Asian market outside of Singapore itself. VIR’s Bich Ngoc takes a look at what Mapletree has done so far and analyses its investment strategy for Vietnam in the future.
a singaporean all rounder rises high
Mapletree currently manages a portfolio of about $1 billion worth of assets under management in Vietnam

Vietnam’s transformation into a market-oriented economy with two thriving business cities, a young and industrious population, and a growing middle-class underline the long-term economic potential of the country. Mapletree has grown to be one of the largest Singaporean real estate firms in Vietnam by capital, with a portfolio of about $1 billion in assets under management since first investing in this market in 2005.

The group is present in all segments of the real estate field, such as large-scale mixed-use developments, grade A offices, build-to-suit designs, high-quality real estate space, logistics, industrial facilities, and serviced apartments.

According to Wendy Koh, regional chief executive officer for Southeast Asia at Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd., Vietnam is currently Mapletree’s largest Southeast Asian market, outside of Singapore.

“As an established real estate development, investment, capital, and property management company headquartered in Singapore, Mapletree’s portfolio of international grade A offices, retail malls, hotels, serviced apartments, residential projects, and industrial and logistics parks in Vietnam offers high-quality space solutions that multinational companies require,” Koh told VIR.

“Mapletree has also forged excellent business relationships with many multinational companies and is familiar with their operational needs. The group continues to seek strategic development and investment opportunities in Vietnam across various real estate classes,” he added.

Mapletree’s assets in Vietnam are located across Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, and Bac Ninh. The most recent Mapletree developments in Ho Chi Minh City are Saigon South Place in District 7 and One Verandah in District 2, as well as mPlaza Saigon (previously known as Kumho Asiana Plaza) in District 1, which was acquired in 2016.

The 4.4 hectare mixed-use development Saigon South Place comprises Mapletree Business Centre, a Grade A office tower; SC VivoCity, a multi-experiential destination mall in collaboration with Saigon Co.op; RichLane Residences, a premier residential tower; and Oakwood Residence Saigon, a premier serviced apartment tower.

The group also owns and manages CentrePoint, an office building with a retail podium, and Pacific Place, a mixed-use development in Hanoi.

Mapletree Business Centre in Ho Chi Minh City features large, column-free floor plans, raised floors, high ceilings, and an all-glass façade. The office tower attracted strong leasing interest from international and local tenants, and secured a committed occupancy of over 95 per cent as of March 31, 2018, within a year of its grand opening. Mapletree’s latest residential project One Verandah is located in the “golden area” of Thanh My Loi in District 2. In the first phase launched on June 30 of this year, all 249 released units were snapped up by home buyers and investors alike within half a day.

“Apart from developing highly sought-after properties, our investments in Vietnam are geared towards broadening and growing our earnings base to deliver strong and stable returns. The Mapletree brand resonates with the Vietnamese real estate market,” Koh said.

Mapletree – one of the largest Southeast Asian property developers

Mapletree Investments Pte., Ltd. presently manages four Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts and six private real estate funds, which hold a diverse portfolio of assets in the Asia Pacific region, the UK, and the US. The group has also established an extensive network of offices in Singapore, Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, the UK, the US, and Vietnam.

As of March 31, 2018, Mapletree owns and manages $35.3 billion of assets under management ranging from office, retail, logistics, industrial, residential, corporate housing, and serviced apartments to student accommodation properties. Mapletree’s portfolio includes award-winning properties in Singapore such as VivoCity, Mapletree Business City, and STT Tai Seng 1, as well as mixed-use developments in the region such as Mapletree Business City Shanghai, VivoCity Shanghai, and Nanhai Business City in China.

Serving needs of modern businesses in Binh Duong

With a strategic location and good connectivity to surrounding ports, MBC @ Binh Duong is an integrated high-end business park space where office and support operations are co-located.

Binh Duong New City is constructed to become Binh Duong’s new administrative centre, and it will promote and support the development of Thu Dau Mot City, with the two urban areas slated to be united to become the core of Binh Duong by 2020. Envisioned as a modern, prestigious, and dynamic urban centre, Binh Duong New City will have a full distribution of land uses. Important works such as the provincial administrative centre began operations in 2013, while a high-end financial, commercial, and service centre, a residential area, offices for lease, universities, and sport centres will be opened for residents in the future.

Therefore, Mapletree has been co-ordinating with Binh Duong authorities to develop MBC@ Binh Duong, which offers ready-built, high-quality business spaces with modern infrastructure, reliable power and water supply, and integrated telecommunication services. MBC @ Binh Duong is a particularly attractive destination for businesses in growth sectors, with planned supporting amenities including retail and food and beverage outlets.

Empowering manpower and communities

Employees are Mapletree’s key asset, and it strives to build a robust workforce in Vietnam.

Leveraging its internationally acclaimed brand, Mapletree imparts valuable experience and global business practices to its approximately 1,000 Vietnamese employees, in a positive work environment.

“This integral part of our business strategy enables a transfer of the relevant skill sets to the Vietnamese workforce and provides our staff with in-depth knowledge to excel in their roles,” Koh said.

Mapletree has also employed some Vietnamese professionals who have studied or worked abroad, serving to attract talent back to the country.

Last but not least, Mapletree also strives to invest in the communities that it operates in by empowering people through supporting educational and healthcare initiatives, enriching living environments with art and functional design, and building environmentally sustainable real estate developments.

In Vietnam, the group has been deploying programmes to support healthcare and help disabled children. In conjunction with SC VivoCity’s first anniversary in August 2016, the mall donated VND500 million ($22,000) to Operation Smile Vietnam to support the medical needs of 100 underprivileged children suffering from congenital harelip and cleft palate.

Based on MasterCMS Ultimate Edition Ver 2.8 2018