Singapore-based developer Keppel Land has increased its ownership in Keppel Land WATCO I to V, by purchasing another 16 per cent equity from the Vietnamese JV partner, Southern Waterborne Transport Corporation.
Keppel Land WATCO are a series of joint venture companies that are involved in development of Ho Chi Minh City-based complex Saigon Centre,
Keppel Land facilitated the transaction with VND845.9 billion ($37.1 million), it said in a March 19 announcement.
As a result, the company has increased its aggregate interest in the JV companies for Saigon Centre Phases One and Two (Keppel Land WATCO I, II and III) from approximately 45.3 per cent to 53.5 per cent, and the interest in Keppel Land WATCO IV and V, the entities for subsequent phases of the mixed-use project, from 68 per cent to 76.2 per cent.
After finishing phase one in 1996, the Saigon Centre retail mall, part of the phase two development, was opened in August 2016, with Takashimaya Department Store as its anchor tenant.
Phase two of the project is designed by New York-based architecture firm NBBJ, and will comprise 55,000 square metre of prime retail space, 44,000 square metres of Grade A offices as well as 195 luxury serviced apartments. It is slated for completion by the end of this year.
The previous development phase includes a 25-storey office tower which has been fully occupied by diplomatic corps, multinational companies, as well as banking and financial institutions. Tenants include DBS Bank, AIG, Reuters and Mitsubishi Corporation.
Located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City’s central business district, Saigon Centre is also within walking distance to the two planned underground subway stations at the iconic Ben Thanh Market and the Opera House.
“Vietnam, one of our key growth markets, continues to attract foreign direct investments which will drive positive demand in the property market from homes to offices and mixed-use developments. Our increased stake in Saigon Centre reflects Keppel Land’s confidence and long-term commitment to contribute to sustainable urbanisation in Vietnam with our quality portfolio of properties,” said Ang Wee Gee, CEO of Keppel Land.
The developer has acquired licenses for 19 projects across Vietnam. Last year, it fortified its presence in the country with the acquisitions of Quoc Loc Phat JSC and Emprie City – a city centre project which will have Vietnam’s tallest building once completed.