Thursday, October 22, 2009

Business Times: Pacific Star breaks into Vietnamese market

October 22, 2009
Pacific Star breaks into Vietnamese market
It'll be asset management adviser to a mall in Ho Chi Minh City

PACIFIC Star Group has signed its first contract in Vietnam - to become asset management adviser to a mall in a US$500 million mixed-use project.

The Singapore-based real estate player also plans to grow its presence in Vietnam by investing in retail, residential and mixed-use properties.

Pacific Star has closed a three-year deal with Vietnamese developer Novaland to advise on managing the latter's Sunrise City Shopping Mall.

The five-storey, 700,000 sq ft retail complex in Ho Chi Minh City should be ready by late 2012. It is part of a project called Sunrise City, which will also have 14 residential and office towers.

Pacific Star will be responsible for the mall's overall concept and performance, and for coming up with strategies for retail mix, leasing and advertising. Several international fashion and food and beverage brands have expressed interest, it says.

'There's a lack of organised international style retail shopping malls' in Vietnam, Pacific Star's asset management senior vice-president Eric Canale told BT. And with a young and growing middle class looking for a new shopping experience, 'there's certainly a gap in the current market'.

More business dealings with Novaland are likely, Mr Canale added. The aim is to 'develop a broader and more strategic relationship outside of asset management, whether it's Sunrise City or other developments. We will begin to have dialogue in terms of equity investment and participation together.'

Pacific Star is looking to buy retail, residential and mixed-use properties in Vietnam, funded directly by the group or through its managed funds. It is raising capital for its US$500 million Enterprise fund and US$2 billion Asia Fund Select fund.

More asset management contracts in China, India and other 'gateway cities' in the region are also in the works. 'In 2010, three to four would be a reasonable focus for us,' Mr Canale said.

Pacific Star hopes these deals will also be the start of strategic and longer-term relationships with partners.

Team Marshe
Martin Koh/ Sherry Tang
93833992/ 98444400

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