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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Yen So Park project to kick off by year-end

A artist's impression of the Yen So Park integrated development in Hanoi, Vietnam. Inset Chow Chee Wah.

PETALING JAYA: Gamuda Land Sdn Bhd’s maiden overseas project in Vietnam, the 500-acre Yen So Park integrated development in south Hanoi, will be launched later this year after a delay of about six months from its initial June launch.

The project was delayed after Vietnam succumbed to inflationary pressures and its currency fell last year, and more recently, the impact of the US-led global financial crisis.

Touted to be the most ambitious in Hanoi so far, the project has a gross development value of RM8bil. To be completed in 10 years, it comprises high-rise office towers, four-and-five-star international hotels, a convention centre and waterfront retail cum shop offices.

The initial launch will consist of the commercial components, including a high-rise office tower with retail podium, an international hotel and shop offices, complete with an urban park.

The first phase of landed residences comprising semi-detached houses, terrace houses and mid-range apartments will be launched in mid-2010.

“We are putting in the final touches for the project and are excited over what it can do to raise the profile and name of Gamuda Land in the regional market,” managing director Chow Chee Wah told StarBiz.

Work on the park and upgrading of the existing Yen So lake was underway, he said. According to Chow, the property market in Hanoi has stabilised from the impact of the global financial meltdown.

“Unlike Ho Chi Minh City, there is less property speculation in Hanoi and prices have not come off much. Having done the due feasibility studies, we are confident the project will go down well with the buyers there. It has been our focus from the very beginning to plan according to the actual stable demand of the market,” he added.

Gamuda Land will be investing up to RM1.4bil to design and build Vietnam’s largest modern sewage treatment plant capable of treating half of Hanoi’s wastewater; upgrade and clean the existing Yen So lake; and build a world class public park on the site.

These are in exchange for development rights on the project site. Chow said from 2010, the project would be able to contribute close to 50% of Gamuda Land’s earnings with the other half coming from projects in Malaysia.

“The project will offer the company a cushion to fall back on should our main traditional market in Malaysia go into low gear like what is happening now,” he said.

Gamuda Land’s local projects have not been spared from the weakening market sentiment caused by the global financial crisis that has resulted in weaker property sales since the third quarter of last year. The company’s monthly sales had slumped 30% since last August.

It recently launched the Gamuda Land Investment Scheme where buyers for selected products in Horizon Hills in Nusajaya, Johor and Jade Hills in Kajang need only to make a 10% deposit while the buyers’ banks will release the progressive payment to the developer during the construction period.

Gamuda will bear all legal fees, stamp duty on the sale and purchase agreement, fees on loan agreement and memorandum of transfer and also service the interest during the construction period.

Even after the property has been granted vacant possession, Gamuda will bear the payment of the loan principal and interest for 12 months. The other housing schemes available in the market now only cover up to the point of vacant possession.

By The Star (by Angie Ng)

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