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Chip Eng Seng to co-build condos in Vietnam

CONSTRUCTION and property group Chip Eng Seng will build two condominium projects in Ho Chi Minh City in league with some Vietnamese partners.

The condos will cost ‘about US$120 million ($172.6 million)’ to build in total, with Chip Eng Seng putting in about US$41.4 million, said the company yesterday.

Both projects – one in District 8 and the other in District 2 – are expected to be launched in the second half of this year.

Chip Eng Seng group chief executive officer Raymond Chia said that Vietnam ‘is roaring with potential’.

The firm’s investment, he added, was ‘taken with a long-term view… I see Chip Eng Seng becoming a key foreign investor in Vietnam’.

The District 8 project, in which Chip Eng Seng will have a 20 per cent stake via wholly owned unit CES-VH Holdings, is a 782-unit estate.

It is expected to cost US$60 million and will comprise three 18-storey blocks with full facilities on about 23,000 sq m.

Chip Eng Seng has a 25 per cent stake in the District 2 project through another subsidiary, CES-Vietnam Holdings.

The firm said it intends to raise its stake in this venture to 49 per cent within the year.

This project – three 21-storey blocks with more than 450 units on 7,000 sq m – is expected to cost US$60 million.

Chip Eng Seng made its first foray into Vietnam last July, when it took a 5 per cent stake in Vietnamese firm Hoa Binh Construction and Real Estate.

The deal has ‘brought about good equity returns and excellent business opportunities’, said the company.

Chip Eng Seng is now ‘seeking opportunities in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and China’, said Mr Chia. He expects that 30 per cent of revenue and profit will come from overseas projects within three years.

The projects announced yesterday will ‘contribute positively to its net tangible assets and earnings per share for the financial year’ ending Dec 31, the company said.

Chip Eng Seng shares closed at 68 cents yesterday, up five cents.


Source: The Straits Times 3 Jan 08

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