Mapletree blossoms in local landscape

08:10 | 20/06/2011
Mapletree, a Singaporean property investor in Vietnam, recently revealed that it is going to launch a Vietnam-focused private real estate fund over the next couple of years.
Chua Tiow Chye

Thuy Ngoc talks with Mapletree Investments chief investment officer Chua Tiow Chye about his plan to expand business in Vietnam.

As far as we know Mapletree has invested mostly in mixed-use and office buildings, apart from logistics in Vietnam. What is the reason for this investment while many real estate consultants expect an oversupply in the next two to three years?

As in our investment strategy for each country, we look for non speculative and fundamental demand in the projects to invest in.

Different investors look for different risk return projects. Since we believe in the long-term prospects of Vietnam, we will focus on projects which will ride the medium- to long-term economic growth and social demographics of the working and living population in Vietnam. Hence our investments in the mixed-use and office developments fill that niche. 

In your 2010 financial operations review, you said Vietnam still lacked high-end accommodation while there seemed to be an oversupply in this segment. Can you elaborate on this?

Mapletree believes that Vietnam’s long-term economic prospects will create a growing segment of middle class consumers.

This segment will need good quality accommodation and modern lifestyle conveniences.

We believe that Vietnam’s real estate industry will evolve to meet the needs of growing middle class segment of Vietnam’s population as well as the foreign investors who are drawn by Vietnam’s growth story.

While there is currently a supply of good quality accommodation in Vietnam, what distinguishes Mapletree is our ability to introduce better international development concepts which will dovetail with the growing aspirations of the middle class.

Mapletree has invested in logistic parks in Binh Duong and Bac Ninh provinces. Will you expand this business to other provinces of Vietnam?

Mapletree believes that as an emerging market, there will be strong demand for good quality logistics facilities, particularly from third party logistics companies which are seeking to establish a foothold in Vietnam.

We will consider developing good quality logistics facilities in other regions in Vietnam.

By Thuy Ngoc

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