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Ocean Group refocuses real estate investments

Released at: 17:44, 08/06/2016

Ocean Group refocuses real estate investments

Photo: Duc Anh

Group to prioritize four key projects this year.

by Quynh Nguyen

The Ocean Group (OCG) will restructure its property portfolio and set top priority this year on a complex in Hanoi.

It also targets to complete the Fafilm project in the capital, which has been partly completed, with apartments built, while the project’s trade center and office space for lease sub-projects are still awaiting licensing. It covers an area of 3,500 sq m in total, with investment capital of VND400 billion ($18 million).

“We will put our focus on the complex project at Tran Khanh Du Street in Hoan Kiem district this year,” Ms. Nguyen Thu Thuy, OCG’s PR Manager, told VET on June 8, the day of the group’s annual general meeting.

The $27 million complex project comprises office space for lease, a trade center, a hotel and apartments. “We plan to hold a breaking ground ceremony this month,” Ms. Thuy said.

Two years ago OCG was embroiled in a scandal involving its Chairman, Mr. Ha Van Tham. Mr. Tham was arrested on October 24, 2014 after police found he had signed a decision approving a VND500 billion ($23.4 million) loan to the Trung Dung Commercial Ltd Company despite knowing the company’s loan application fell short of requirements.

At the time, OCG, which is also the parent company of Ocean Bank, had charter capital of VND3 trillion ($141.6 million) and interests in real estate, banking, securities, retail, media, and hotels.

Early last year the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) became the sole shareholder of the ailing Ocean Bank, purchasing all shares with no exchange of cash and terminating all rights of and benefits to existing shareholders. Ocean Bank had exhibited various weaknesses in terms of management and operations, according to the SBV.

In August last year Vingroup acquired OCG’s $330-million StarCity Center after acquiring Ocean Retail, another OCG subsidiary.

“We are still fine in terms of finance so we can move on with four key projects this year,” said Ms. Thuy.

In addition to the two projects mentioned above, OCG also plan to implement its Yen Hoa Park project this year, with investment of VND1.6 trillion ($72 million) and on an area of 112,410 sq m. The project is a cooperative effort between OCG and the VNT Co. and is expected to commence in the third quarter this year after all procedures are completed.

It is also seeking an investment licenses for a complex on Le Van Luong Street in Hanoi (Licogi 19), which covers an area of 4,632 sq m and has investment capital of VND1.4 trillion ($63 million).

Along with focusing on key projects, OCG has also sold certain projects and called for more investment partners in other projects in northern Quang Ninh province, the Lega Fashion House project in Ho Chi Minh City, and an urban area project in northern Bac Giang province.

According to OCG’s financial report released on June 7, in the first quarter of this year it earned revenue of VND250 billion ($11.25 million), an increase of 6 per cent year-on-year, with pre-tax profit of VND9.3 billion ($481,400).

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