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Asset1 to venture into Vietnam by 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: Australian property developer Asset1 Pty Ltd aims to spread its wings to Vietnam by 2013 in its efforts to widen its regional presence, said managing director Luke Adams.

The property developer plans to make its debut in Vietnam's premium property market, targeting the republic's expatriate community, he told reporters on Monday, June 27.

"We think the future in a lot of markets is more boutique-type developments," he said.

The company is eyeing partnerships with Vietnamese developers as well as Malaysian developers who have gained a foothold there, said Adams.

Some of the Malaysian companies in Vietnam include Ireka Corp Bhd, Gamuda Land Bhd, S P Setia Bhd, WCT Land Sdn Bhd, IJM Corporation Bhd, Mudajaya Bhd and Berjaya Land Bhd.

Asset1 had initially not ventured into Vietnam because of a number of issues, namely lifestyle differences, cost of financing and difficulty in acquiring properties.

"It's much more difficult but it will be lucrative," he added.

On its first project abroad The [email protected] Kayangan Kemensah in Ulu Klang, Kuala Lumpur — developed by its Malaysian unit Asset1 Aus (Ulu Klang) Sdn Bhd in partnership with Weststar Construction Sdn Bhd — the group has managed to sell 27 out of 39 bungalow plots available during its soft launch two weeks ago, said Weststar Construction chairman Tan Sri Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim.

"We expect to sell the remainder by end-July," he said.

Going forward, Asset1 and Weststar Construction plans to develop premium low-density homes in Ampang Hilir following its low-density gated-and-guarded upscale scheme in Kemensah Heights, added Syed Azman, who is also Weststar Group group managing director.

Weststar Construction will partner Asset1 Aus (Ulu Klang) to work on this project, he added.

However, the companies are in no hurry to embark on new projects as they want to "get it right" with The [email protected] Kayangan Kemensah, he said.

Weststar Construction managing director Datuk Yee Kong Fatt said the company was cautiously venturing into property development and was looking for parcels in Ulu Klang and Ampang Hilir.

Weststar Construction is more well-known with as an aviation infrastructure player, with an order book of RM300 million to date, he said.

The [email protected] Kayangan Kemensah will feature 37 bungalows on 21 acres of freehold land in Ulu Klang.

At 12,000 sq ft to 20,000 sq ft, each bungalow plot will have an individual title.

The plots come with a building plan for seven types of bungalow layouts named after acclaimed architects such as Norman Foster and Rem Koolhaas.

With a gross development value of RM185 million, each unit will be priced from RM5 million to RM6 million.

It is jointly-developed by Asset1 Aus (Ulu Klang) Sdn Bhd, the Malaysian branch of Australian developer Asset1 Pty Ltd and Weststar Construction, a subsidiary of the diversified Weststar Group controlled by Syed Azman.

The homes are expected to be completed 24 months from the date of signing the sale and purchase agreement (SPA).

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