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CAPITALAND'S serviced residence arm has clinched a management contract for a property in the coastal city of Hai Phong.

The Somerset Central TD, Hai Phong, will open in the second half of next year and offer 132 units ranging from studio to three-bedroom apartments, The Ascott Group said yesterday.

This will be the seventh property in Ascott's portfolio in the country and will boost its inventory in Vietnam to 1,182 units.

The latest management contract is from Thuy Duong Investment Joint Stock Company, a property company with developments across Vietnam's major cities.

The property is part of the landmark TD Plaza, a mixed use development at Le Hong Phong Road that comprises a five-storey mall, which is already operating; an office block; and two towers of residential apartments and serviced residences.

'The new Somerset property will be the first international branded serviced residence and the largest serviced apartment in Hai Phong,' Ascott said.

The latest property will cement Ascott's position as the largest international serviced residence operator in Vietnam.

Ascott CEO Lim Ming Yan, said: 'Vietnam has significant potential for Ascott to grow its presence. Our five properties in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are performing well with an average occupancy of about 90 per cent.

'We expect strong demand from the influx of expatriates to Hai Phong as the city further urbanises. The local government has plans for new industrial parks in Hai Phong which will spur economic growth. Vietnam and Singapore will also develop a 1,600-hectare integrated township and industrial park there,' he added.

Ascott currently manages five serviced residence properties in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City totalling 818 units. Another property with 232 units will open in Ho Chi Minh City in the second half of 2011.

Source: The Business Times

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