Illustration image (Source: cafenet)

The property market in Ho Chi Minh City has been vibrant since the outset of 2015 thanks to buoyant merger and acquisition (M&A) activities which are expected to continue thriving in the time to ahead.

A notable transaction in early 2015 was the purchase of the Diamond Plaza in District 1 by the Republic of Korea’s Lotte group.

Last July, Japan’s Creed Group spent 200 million USD on buying stakes in the An Gia Real Estate Investment and Development Joint Stock Company and investing in housing projects.

Earlier, the group also poured 70 million USD into the City Gate project owned by the 577 Investment Corporation in District 8.

Novaland Group has purchased and cooperated on investments in 10 property projects worth trillions of VND in downtown HCM City since the beginning of 2015, said Deputy General Director of the group Bui Cao Nhat Quan.

Dat Xanh, another real estate firm, has also organised a number of M&A transactions such as the Sunview, C21 and Water Garden projects.

Chairman of the HCM City Real Estate Association Le Hoang Chau said the city is currently home to 1,407 property projects. Among them, 689 projects have been halted and 85 others were revoked, becoming potential M&A projects.

Su Ngoc Khuong, Investment Director of the Savills Vietnam Co. Ltd, said the M&A of property projects are forecast to continue their upward trend, as Vietnam is attracting interest from many potential investors in the region such as those from the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore and Indonesia.

Many foreign investors and investment funds are racing to pour money into HCM City’s real estate market under various forms, including buying stakes at listed and unlisted companies and directly investing in underway projects.

While local property firms have the advantage of in-depth understanding of the domestic market, foreign enterprises are strong at project and capital governance. Therefore, M&A is an effective way to improve Vietnamese companies’ performance, he added.

Facing M&A pressure, local businesses should determine their orientations, update their applied technology, and promote project and capital governance capacity so as to improve their competitiveness against foreign firms, Khuong noted.-VNA