Singapore’s Capitaland to Double Investments in Vietnam

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Jun. 8 – Singapore-based real estate giant Capitaland, the largest developer in Southeast Asia, is planning to double its investments in Vietnam over the next three to five years to US$2.5 billion.

New projects will include affordable housing and shopping malls across Vietnam’s key cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Capitaland CEO Liew Mun Leong told reporters at the sidelines of a meeting with government officials in Hanoi. Capitaland currently maintains roughly US$1.2 billion in real estate projects throughout the country.

“We have roughly about 4,000 apartments to build. What we want to do is to increase this rapidly,” Liew said. “500,000 people need housing every year. That translates to about 120,000 homes to be built. And what is the supply? The supply today is only about 18,000 homes. I think this is a very good opportunity for us. So we will be aggressively chasing this prospect of building this housing that common people can buy.”

Liew also said that the company’s shopping malls would try and stay away from luxury brands like Prada and Louis Vuitton, in favor of what he calls “necessity shopping.”

“Vietnam is progressing to the next stage of urbanization. Our vision is to build strong shopping malls, firstly for what we call necessity shopping,” he said. “It’s not ION in Singapore, it’s not Takashimaya. It’s Tampines Mall, IMM, Bugis Junction, maybe, that sort of shopping mall where they can buy their basic necessities plus a few things (like) Zara, Uniqlo, or Muji, Watsons, those sort of images.”

“No Prada and LV. I believe that people migrate to this consumption progressively. If I do a shopping mall that does Prada and LV, I’m taking a high risk,” Liew continued. “But if I’m building a shopping mall that can sell basic necessity plus a few things that they can afford, then I think I’m addressing the needs of the population.”