06 Dec
2006

Ascott Entrenches Leadership In Vietnam, Adds Prime Property In Hanoi With Total Investment Of US$23.5 Million

Singapore, 6 December 2006 – The Ascott Group (Ascott) has formed a joint venture with Hoabinh Co Ltd to acquire a 206-unit serviced residence in Hanoi’s prime Cau Giay District. Ascott will invest US$23.5 million which is 90% of the total project investment, development and refurbishment costs of US$26.1 million.

Ascott’s investment of US$23.5 million includes US$7.2 million to acquire a 90% equity stake in the shareholding company, Somerset Hoa Binh Joint Venture Co Ltd. 

The serviced residence to be named Somerset Hoa Binh, Hanoi will be managed by Ascott for 10 years, with an option to renew the contract for another 10 years. The addition of Somerset Hoa Binh further entrenches Ascott’s position as a pioneer in bringing the serviced residence concept to Vietnam and as the largest international serviced residence operator in the country.

With the acquisition, Ascott’s portfolio in Vietnam stands at 775 units in five properties.  The Group currently operates 569 units in four properties including Somerset Grand Hanoi; Somerset West Lake, Hanoi; Somerset Ho Chi Minh City and Somerset Chancellor Court, Ho Chi Minh City.

Mr Cameron Ong, Ascott’s Managing Director and CEO said: “Vietnam is an attractive emerging market with strong growth potential for the serviced residence industry. Its growing manufacturing, tourism and infrastructure sectors and ongoing liberalisation are attracting rising foreign investments and tourist arrivals. The acquisition of Somerset Hoa Binh is strategic and timely given the limited supply of good quality accommodation in Hanoi. We will also be tapping on the growing demand for good quality class accommodation from expatriates and business executives from nearby industrial parks, as well as leisure travellers.” 

According to Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment, the government targets to achieve an annual growth of 11% to 12% in foreign direct investment for Hanoi from year 2006 to 2010. Tourist arrivals to the city have doubled in 2006 compared to 2005 according to statistics from Hanoi Tourism Department. The department also forecasts that there will be a lack of 10,000 four to five-star hotel rooms by year 2010.

Somerset Hoa Binh, Hanoi is targeted to be opened in the second half of 2007 with studio, one and two bedroom units.  The serviced residence is part of a mixed development comprising an office tower and a retail podium, strategically located at Hoang Quoc Viet Road, Cau Giay District.

The property is within five to ten minutes’ drive from the prime city centres of Hoan Kiem and Ba Dinh Districts where several multinational corporations, diplomatic and public offices, dining and shopping outlets, as well as tourist attractions are located.

Somerset Hoa Binh is a 20-minute drive from Noi Bai airport, Hanoi’s international airport. The property is also a 10-minute drive from the new township of Hanoi which is being developed by the Vietnam government to be a key commercial and political district.  An international conference centre and several government offices will be located in the district. 

About Hoabinh Co Ltd

Founded in 1987, Hoabinh’s first business venture was in the production of alcohol, beer and soft drinks. Today, Hoabinh is a multi-industry company with diverse businesses ranging from real estate trading and construction, travel businesses, import-export trading, manufacturing of industrial and mechanical equipment, and food production to motorbike assembly. Hoabinh was recognised as one of the top 20 most efficient enterprises in Hanoi by the Hanoi People’s Committee.

About The Ascott Group

The Ascott Group is the largest international serviced residence owner-operator outside the United States with over 17,000 serviced residence units in key cities of Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region.

The Group operates three brands –Ascott, Somerset and Citadines. Its portfolio spans 45 cities in 20 countries including London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Barcelona in Europe; Singapore, Bangkok, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Chennai in Asia; Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in Australia / New Zealand, as well as Dubai in the Gulf region.

The Ascott Group 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 22-year industry track record and serviced residence brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.

The Ascott Group’s achievements have been recognised internationally.  Recent awards include Travel Weekly China 2006 ‘Best Serviced Residence’, Business Traveller China 2006 ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand in China’, TTG Travel 2006 ‘Best Serviced Residence’, 2006 World Travel Awards, Business Traveller Asia Pacific 2006 ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand’ and ‘Best Serviced Residence’ awards.  For a full list of awards, please visit : https://www.the-ascott.com/aboutus/awards_and_accolades.html?year=2007

Listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange, The Ascott Group is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, one of the largest listed real estate companies in Asia. Headquartered in Singapore, the multinational company's core businesses in property, hospitality and real estate financial services are focused in gateway cities in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. The company's property and hospitality portfolio spans more than 80 cities in 20 countries.

CapitaLand also leverages on its significant real estate asset base and market knowledge to develop real estate financial products and services in Singapore and the region. The listed subsidiaries and associates of CapitaLand include The Ascott Group, Raffles Holdings, CapitaMall Trust, CapitaCommercial Trust, Ascott Residence Trust and Australand, which is listed both in Singapore and Australia.

 

Media
Celina Low, Vice President, Corporate Communications

Tel: (65) 6586 0475 

Hp: (65) 9682 5458 

Email: celina.low@the-ascott.com

Joan Tan, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications

Tel: (65) 6586 0474 

Hp: (65) 9743 9503 

Email: joan.tan@the-ascott.com

Analyst
Lilian Goh, Head, Investor Relations

Tel: (65) 6586 7231  

Hp: (65) 9795 5225  

Email: lilian.goh@the-ascott.com