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Land near Da Nang military airport bought by businesses with major Chinese shareholders

Wednesday, January 13, 2016, 16:56 GMT+7

A recent probe has revealed that multiple land plots close to a military airport in the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang have been purchased by several businesses which include Chinese nationals as the majority shareholders.

Up to 77 out of 246 land pieces near the Nuoc Man Military Airport in Ngu Hanh Son District have been bought by seven firms, most of which are predominantly backed by Chinese nationals.

These companies have been licensed by the municipal Department of Planning and Investment since 2013, exactly when Da Nang authorities issued the decision to transfer the land plots.

Only one three-story building, which serves as the headquarters of Nguyen Thinh Vuong Commercial Services and Tourism Company, has been constructed on one of the ten pieces of land bought by the firm, according to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters’ observations on January 5.

The company has received VND9.8 billion (US$436,492) worth of investment capital, accounting for 49 percent of its stakes, from Hankey Enterprises Limited based in Hong Kong, China, while the chairwoman of the board of directors and general director is P.T.H.D., a Vietnamese woman.

Another three plots of land were purchased by Tran Duy Phuc, the Chinese-Vietnamese director of Diep Phuc Loi Company, who holds 25 percent of the firm’s charter capital.

Diep Phuc Loi, in which Hong Kong’s Harvest View Inc Limited owns the largest share of 42.35 percent, equivalent to VND84.6 billion ($3.77 million), has no offices or headquarters.

Another firm named V.N.HO.LI.DAY is currently possessing 24 land plots near the Nuoc Man Military Airport.

About 48 percent of the company’s shares, or VND19.2 billion ($855,168), belongs to Li Jinan, a Chinese national, while the director is 28-year-old Vietnamese N.T.P.T., who owns 17 percent of the company.

Director T. is currently on maternity leave while Li is rarely seen in Vietnam, said an employee of the company.

A similar situation is also true at Silver Sea Trieu Nghiep Company, which a Vietnamese woman manages despite the fact that Hong Kong’s Ching On Holdings Limited holds 49 percent of the shares.

The address of the firm, which owns seven of the land parcels, happens to be the same as that of Nguyen Thinh Vuong Company.

The specific business activities and tax records of the firms could not be revealed at present, according to Tran Van Mien, head of the Da Nang Department of Taxation.

“Results will be announced after we carry out an inspection. The companies would be able to file a lawsuit if we revealed information on their activities without a proper inspection in accordance with the law,” the official added.

A Vietnamese official with authority on enterprise management provided his personal opinion on the situation of the above companies.

The Chinese investors have assigned Vietnamese nationals to be the directors of their firms in order to prevent them from being classified as foreign-invested enterprises, which would be bound by several limitations, especially the rights to buy land in Vietnam.

The fact that these companies have bought multiple land plots near the Nuoc Man Military Airport reflects the Chinese habit of living and running businesses together.

They will likely establish hotels and restaurants to offer services to Chinese people who are working or traveling in the area, the official said.

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