29 Dec

Ascott Wins Saigon Times Top 40 Award 2008 For Charity And Environmental Protection Initiatives



Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 29 December 2008 – The Ascott Group's (Ascott) Somerset Chancellor Court in Vietnam was awarded the prestigious Saigon Times Top 40 FDI Award for its excellent achievements in business with an ongoing commitment to protecting the environment and supporting the community.

As one of the four best-performing foreign-invested enterprises in the hospitality industry in Ho Chi Minh City, the Somerset serviced residence was honoured for its achievements and accountability in looking beyond its immediate business interests to wider community needs.

The accolade was given out by two leading travel and business publications - The Saigon Times Weekly and The Saigon Times Daily, in cooperation with the Departments of Planning and Investment of four southern cities and provinces - Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria-VungTau, Binh Duong and Dong Nai.

Mr Phan Huu Thang, head of the Foreign Investment Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, said: "Congratulations to Somerset Chancellor Court for winning the Saigon Times Top 40 Award for the first time. I believe that Ascott will continue their best practices - contributing to the country’s sustainable development and conducting good activities for the environment and the community for many years to come."

"Winning this prestigious award gives valued recognition to the strong reputation we have built over our decade-long presence in Vietnam. Besides making sure we conduct our business in a sustainable and environmentally-conscious manner, Ascott is also very committed to uplifting the communities around us. This is in line with our corporate culture and Heartware service motto of going the extra mile," said Mr Henry Lim, Ascott's Country General Manager for VIetnam.

Ascott has embarked on various Corporate Social Responsibility programmes. It recently adopted the 'Building a Greener Future' programme, which encourages residents to conserve the environment  through efforts such as turning off lights, air conditioning, water and appliances when not in use. Ascott has also supported many other charity activities including  a recent one at Soc Trang (350km South-west of Ho Chi Minh City) where 400 pupils benefited greatly from improved classroom conditions, clean drinking water, and a brand new library. Ascott sponsored and took part in the Terry Fox Run, which was organised by the Embassy of Canada to raise funds for cancer research in Vietnam. Besides, Ascott's staff participated in two major fun runs to raise funds for the disabled and needy and donated blood in its annual blood donation drive. These activities have been conducted annually for many years.

Ascott has won numerous awards in Vietnam including ‘Guide Award for Excellent Performance’, ‘Golden Dragon Award for Excellent Performance’, ‘50 Best Employers in Vietnam’, ‘Best Service in Serviced Apartments’ and ‘Excellent Service in Serviced Apartments’ awards.

Ascott is the leading international serviced residence owner-operator in the Vietnam, with 1,050 serviced residence units across six properties. The serviced residences are Somerset Grand Hanoi; Somerset West Lake, Hanoi; Somerset Hoa Binh, Hanoi; Somerset Chancellor Court, Ho Chi Minh City, Somerset Ho Chi Minh City, and Somerset Saigon City (opening in 2011).

About The Saigon Times Top 40 Award

Saigon Times Top 40 Award has been held annually since 2003 and this has been the first time the Saigon Times award has a new category to recognise companies in hospitality sector. The Award has been organised by two Saigon Times Group’s English-version publications – The Saigon Times Weekly and The Saigon Times Daily in cooperation with the Departments of Planning and Investment of four southern cities and provinces, Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria-VungTau, Binh Duong and Dong Nai. Main criteria for winners are good business in the locality, no labour dispute, no tax debt, high disbursed capital over registered capital, and good contributions to community through charity and environmental protection activities.

About The Ascott Group

The Ascott Group is the world's largest international serviced residence owner-operator with nearly 18,000 operating serviced residence units in key cities of Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region, as well as about 7,000 units which are under development, making a total of close to 25,000 units.

The Group operates three brands – Ascott, Somerset and Citadines. Its portfolio spans 66 cities in 22 countries, 15 of which are new cities in Ascott's portfolio where its serviced residences are being developed. Ascott's properties can be found in cities including London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Barcelona in Europe; Singapore, Bangkok, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong in Asia; Melbourne, Perth and Sydney in Australia, as well as Doha, Dubai and Manama in the Gulf region.

The Ascott Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CapitaLand Limited, is headquartered in Singapore. It pioneered Asia Pacific's first branded luxury serviced residence in 1984. It also established the world’s first pan-Asian serviced residence real estate investment trust, Ascott Residence Trust in 2006. Today, the Group boasts a 25-year industry track record and serviced residence brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.

The Ascott Group's achievements have been recognised internationally. Recent awards include TTG Travel Awards 2008 'Best Serviced Residence Operator', Business Traveller UK Awards 2008 'Best Serviced Residence Company', Business Traveller Asia Pacific Awards 2008 'Best Serviced Residence Brand' and 'Best Serviced Residence', TravelWeekly (Asia) Industry Awards 2008 'Best Serviced Residence (Group)' and DestinAsian Readers' Choice Awards 2008 'Best Serviced Apartment/Residence Operator'.

About CapitaLand Group

CapitaLand is one of Asia’s largest real estate companies. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, the multinational company's core businesses in real estate, hospitality and real estate financial services are focused in growth cities in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

The company's real estate and hospitality portfolio spans more than 120 cities in over 20 countries. CapitaLand also leverages on its significant asset base, real estate domain knowledge, financial skills and extensive market network to develop real estate financial products and services in Singapore and the region.

The listed subsidiaries and associates of CapitaLand include Australand, CapitaMall Trust, CapitaCommercial Trust, Ascott Residence Trust and CapitaRetail China Trust.

Joan Tan, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications

Tel: (65) 6500 3401 

HP: (65) 9743 9503 

Email: joan.tan@the-ascott.com

Foo Siew Shyan, Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications

Tel: (65) 6500 3404 

HP: (65) 9848 8929 

Email: foo.siewshyan@the-ascott.com