Singapore’s Keppel Land has acquired a majority stake in the joint venture entities involved in mixed-use Saigon Centre development (Photo: citypassguide.com)

HCM City (VNA) - Singapore-based Keppel Land, through its subsidiary Krystal Investment Pte Ltd, has spent almost 846 billion VND (37.1 million USD) to acquire an additional 16 percent stake in Keppel Land WATCO I to V, the joint venture entities to develop the mixed-use Saigon Centre complex in HCM City.

The seller was the Vietnamese Southern Waterborne Transport Corporation (Sowatco).

Following the acquisition, Keppel Land has increased its aggregate interest in the joint venture companies for Saigon Centre Phases One and Two (Keppel Land WATCO I, II and III) from approximately 45.3 percent to 53.5 percent.

Its aggregate interest in the Keppel Land WATCO IV and V - the companies involved in development for subsequent phases of mixed-use complex - has swollen from 68 percent to 76.2 percent.

The transaction is expected to have negligible impact on the earnings per share and net tangible asset per share of Keppel Corporation Limited for the current financial year.

The entire divestment of Sowatco, Vietnamese partner of Keppel Land in the project, was leaked last year when the company submitted its plan to its 2016 annual shareholders’ meeting in April.

Saigon Centre is a high-end mixed-use complex located on a two-hectare prime site in the heart of the central business area in District 1, HCM City. It is also within walking distance to two planned underground subway stations at Ben Thanh Market and the Opera House.

After finishing phase one in 1996 - the Saigon Centre retail mall - part of the phase two development, was opened in August last year and has received about six million visitors since its opening.

Phase two of the project, designed by the internationally renowned New York-based architecture firm NBBJ, will comprise 55,000 sq.m of retail space, 44,000 sq.m of premium Grade A office space as well as 195 luxury serviced apartments when fully completed by the end of the year.

"Keppel Land is committed to grow its commercial portfolio in key Asian cities. Vietnam, one of our key growth markets, continues to attract foreign direct investments which will drive positive demand in the property market from homes to offices and mixed-use developments,” Ang Wee Gee, CEO of Keppel Land, said in a statement.

Ang said the increased stake in Saigon Centre demonstrated Keppel Land’s confidence and long-term commitment to contribute to sustainable urbanisation in Vietnam.

The Singapore developer has acquired 19 licensed projects across the country and a pipeline of more than 25,000 homes.-VNA