Rockefeller’s Firm Plans $2.5 Billion Vietnam Development

Source: Vung Ro Petroleum Co. via Bloomberg

An artist rendering shows the marina of the Vung Ro Bay development in this undated handout image released to the media on Jan. 14, 2014. Close

An artist rendering shows the marina of the Vung Ro Bay development in this undated... Read More

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Source: Vung Ro Petroleum Co. via Bloomberg

An artist rendering shows the marina of the Vung Ro Bay development in this undated handout image released to the media on Jan. 14, 2014.

Rose Rock Group, a Rockefeller family-backed alternative investment management firm, will help develop a $2.5 billion residential and hotel project on the south-central coast of Vietnam.

The Vung Ro Bay development covering 200,000 square meters (2.15 million square feet) will be developed with Vung Ro Petroleum Co., a Tuy Hoa, Phu Yen province-based oil company, according to a joint e-mailed statement today. The project will include 350 marina berths, hotels with more than 760 rooms, 4,300 residential apartments, 100 townhouses and retail shops, according to the statement.

The new development comes amid a growing interest among overseas investors in Vietnam’s potential as a tourism and gambling destination. Vietnam’s property prices dropped between 10 percent and 30 percent last year and the declines have boosted sales and reduced supply in the market, Construction Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said on Dec. 24.

“Vietnam’s property market has been a bit of a roller coaster,” said Nicholas Holt, Asia-Pacific research director at Knight Frank LLP in Singapore. “We are seeing foreign investors sniffing around for good opportunities and the returns could be potentially very attractive if one holds the view that the market is at the bottom and land prices will start to rise.”

Preferred Destination

Vung Ro is investing more than $4 billion to develop an oil refinery, petroleum plant and sea port in Phu Yen province, according to the statement. Rose Rock specializes in real estate, health care, and arts and culture. The group has developments in China, according to the statement.

“We look forward to making this development an outstanding and preferred destination in the Asia-Pacific region for visitors and a lifestyle choice for residents,” Collin Eckles, president at Rose Rock, said in the statement.

Vietnam’s VinaCapital Group, the country’s largest fund manager, is planning to build a $4 billion casino-resort complex in Quang Nam province on the south-central coast after developing a beach resort in Danang about six years ago, Chief Executive Officer Don Lam said in a phone interview today.

“We see central Vietnam as at the beginning phase of a growth stage,” said Lam. “If you look at southern China, it’s only a one-and-a-half-hour flight to beaches. The hotel costs are lower. And it’s a new destination.”

Casino Resort

Canada’s Asian Coast Development (ACDZ) is developing the Ho Tram Strip in southern Vietnam, bringing hotel resorts, a casino and a Greg Norman-designed golf course to the 2.2 kilometer (1.4 miles) beachfront, according to its website. The casino resort opened in July and a second resort will be operated by Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (PNK), the Las Vegas-based-owner of U.S. casinos, according to Asian Coast Development.

So far, there have only been a handful of casino-resort projects approved by the government, said Richard Leech, executive director of CBRE (CBG) Group Inc. in Hanoi.

The number of international visitors to Vietnam increased 11 percent in 2013, according to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam. The country targets attracting 48 million visitors and 220 trillion dong ($10 billion) in total revenue, according to Nhan Dan Online, the Communist Party paper.

The country’s economy expanded 5.42 percent last year, faster than the 5.25 percent pace in 2012, according to the General Statistics Office.

Rockefeller family members are descendants of 19th-century oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, who founded Exxon Mobil Corp.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Pooja Thakur in Singapore at pthakur@bloomberg.net; John Boudreau in Hanoi at jboudreau3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net

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