Since the Vietnamese government relaxed its foreign ownership rules in July 2015, the country has become a hot investment destination for Singapore companies. In 1Q2017, Singapore was the largest contributor of foreign direct investment in Vietnam, after South Korea. Singapore property groups such as CapitaLand and Keppel Land entered Vietnam more than two decades ago.
CapitaLand’s foray was via its serviced apartment arm, The Ascott. A decade ago, CapitaLand ventured into property development, with projects such as The Vista and Vista Verde in District 2 of Ho Chi Minh City. It has since launched and developed nine residential projects in Vietnam, including two in Hanoi. The Singapore-listed giant recently purchased a commercial site in the CBD of Ho Chi Minh City.
Keppel Land has also been growing its footprint in Vietnam with its wide range of waterfront residential developments, such as The Estella, Estella Heights and Riviera Point. The developer recently increased its stake in its flagship mixed-use development, Saigon Centre, in Ho Chi Minh City.
Meanwhile, Mapletree Investments, which entered Vietnam 12 years ago, has two integrated developments in Ho Chi Minh City. Its flagship development is Saigon South Place, which features its signature SC VivoCity shopping mall, Mapletree Business Centre office complex and the recently launched RichLane Residences.
Malaysian property group Gamuda Land, which specialises in developing townships, has been in Vietnam for a decade. The group is behind the 500ha Gamuda City in South Hanoi and the 200ha Celadon City in Ho Chi Minh City.
Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest property group and helmed by the country’s richest man, Pham Nhat Vuong, has been active in all sectors of the real estate market. It sold a record 15,000 homes worth US$3.65 billion ($5.1 billion) in 2016. This year, it intends to open up to 80 supermarkets and over 1,000 convenience stores.
Meanwhile, PPC An Thinh Vietnam Investment and Infrastructure, one of Vietnam’s leading industrial property players, has ventured into the development of lifestyle and resort projects — from golf courses to Danang’s tallest hotel, the Wyndham Soleil Da Nang.
Eurowindow Holding, which had its origins as a manufacturer of high-end windows and doors 15 years ago, is developing two five-star resorts in Cam Ranh Bay, a deep-water bay on the southeastern coast of Vietnam.
According to Neil MacGregor, managing director of Savills Vietnam, “after two years of recovery, we are just at the level of the previous peak of 2009”. For property investors, that means there are still opportunities in the market.