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S'pore realty developer acquires 50 percent stake in Vietnamese counterpart: report

Friday, February 13, 2015, 15:12 GMT+7

Singaporean real estate and investment firm Rowsley Co. Ltd. has reached a deal to own a 50 percent stake in a Vietnamese company developing a complex worth over half a billion U.S. dollars in Myanmar, according to The Straits Times.

Rowsley, partly owned by billionaire Peter Lim, who is one of the richest people in Singapore with total assets of US$2.5 billion, will spend $275 million acquiring a 50 percent share in the company which owns HAGL Myanmar Centre in Yangon, the Singaporean newspaper said.

That company has been identified as Hoang Anh Gia Lai Land, the property arm of Vietnamese group Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL), according to local newswire VnExpress.

HAGL Myanmar Centre, worth $550 million, is among the biggest complexes in Myanmar. It will have four office blocks, a five-star hotel, a shopping mall, and serviced and residential apartments upon completion.

The complex, covering 7.3ha, is expected to be completed in 2018. It is being built under a Build-Operate-Transfer model with a 60-year time frame.

The first phase of the project, to be done in mid-2015, includes two office towers with a total area of 81,000 square meters and 39,000 square meters of retail space, plus a 400-room 5-star hotel.

The next phase is expected to begin in early 2016 and comprises 94,000 square meters of office space and 1,000 serviced apartments.

HAGL Land will continue to be the main investor and undertake the construction of the entire project.

"The essence of the story is Rowsley decided to pour $275 million for a 50 percent stake of HAGL Land, which manages and owns several strategic real estate projects both in Vietnam and abroad, including the development in Myanmar," Doan Nguyen Duc, chairman of HAGL, told newswire VnExpress.

The Singaporean partner will transfer the money to Vietnam, where HAGL Land is based, and it will accompany HAGL Land in the development of the complex in Yangon, Duc added

Duc, the second richest man on the Vietnamese stock exchange, said HAGL sold a 50 percent stake in HAGL Land to Rowsley because the latter firm has experience and strength in the real estate sector.

Currently, phase one of HAGL Myanmar Centre has entered the completion stage and it is expected to be inaugurated in May, Duc told the newswire.

The project is financed by three major banks in Vietnam: BIDV, Eximbank and Sacombank. These lenders have pledged to disburse $220 million for the project commensurate with its progress.

Rowsley is listed on the Singapore stock market with a capitalization of $635 million, while that of Hoang Anh Gia Lai, listed on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, reaches around $813 million.

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