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Thailand’s Amata to develop $1.6bn complex in northern Vietnam: media

Friday, May 08, 2015, 12:36 GMT+7
Thailand’s Amata to develop $1.6bn complex in northern Vietnam: media
Vehicles wait for the traffic lights as they leave the entrance to Amatar Bien Hoa in Dong Nai Province, located in southern Vietnam.

A Thai industrial estate giant is reportedly teaming up with a Vietnamese counterpart to develop a hi-tech industrial complex in a city in northern Vietnam that is home to the famed Ha Long Bay.

Amata Corporation Plc, Thailand’s largest industrial estate developer, and Tuan Chau Group are expected to start construction work on the Amata City Ha Long in Ha Long City next year, according to the Bangkok Post.

Ha Long is the capital of Quang Ninh Province, where Ha Long Bay is located.

The Thai conglomerate holds 70 percent of the joint venture whereas its Vietnamese partner owns the remaining 30 percent, the Thai daily quoted Somhatai Panichewa, president of Amata (Vietnam) JSC, commonly known as Amata VN, as saying on Thursday.

Amata City Ha Long is a huge project whose construction could run for 10 to 15 years and require a total budget of US$1.6 billion, according to the president.

Spanning a total of 5,760 hectares, the project will be divided into ten phases with the final completion slated for 2030.

Work on the first phase of the project, covering 500 hectares and requiring an investment of $60 million, is scheduled to start in 2016 and be finished in 2018.

The first phase will see the construction of some 1,000 factories, according to the Amata VN executive.

The project was put on the table during a meeting between Panichewa and Quang Ninh authorities in January, according to Quang Ninh newspaper.

The northern Vietnamese province and Amata signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in Thailand in March 2013, and the Thai developer has since conducted large amounts of investment research before officially proposing setting up a hi-tech complex in the province, the newspaper said.

The two sides reached an agreement during the January talks that Amata VN would submit a proposal on the project by the first quarter of this year.

But Panichewa told the Bangkok Post that the investment application was only submitted this month and approval is hoped for by the third quarter.

She asserted that the project would create investment value of up to $5 billion and generate some 300,000 jobs for locals.

Amata VN is also expected to conduct an initial public offering this third quarter.

The company had previously intended to launch the IPO in the second quarter, but announced on Wednesday it could delay the plan, according to Reuters.

Panichewa explained that the delay was necessary for the company to “update an IPO filing to add Amata City Ha Long and another new project,” she was quoted by Reuters as saying at a briefing on the Vietnam project in Bangkok.

Amata VN, 44.02 percent owned by Amata Corp, plans to sell 139.4 million shares in the IPO, Reuters said, citing its filing with the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

Amata is a leading Thai developer and manager of factory estates that has been investing in Vietnam for 20 years with the Amata Bien Hoa industrial park in Bien Hoa City, the provincial capital of Dong Nai, 35km northeast of Ho Chi Minh City.

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