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Cambodia ore set to lift profits at VN firm

VIETNAM’S biggest listed property firm, Hoang Anh Gia Lai Joint Stock Co, said Tuesday it expects revenues from its iron ore concessions in Cambodia and Laos will help it boost pretax earnings 57 percent next year.

“It’s very easy to see that the big profit sources in 2010 will be mining iron ore,” the company said in a profit forecast posted on its Web site Tuesday, adding that hydroelectricity projects will also contribute.

Hoang Anh Gia Lai expects earnings to increase to US$145 million in 2010 from $92 million this year, according to the statement. Profits from properties already sold will also boost earnings next year, it said.

“Even if the [property] market continues to slow down, Hoang Anh Gia Lai will easily achieve this profit target,” said the firm. “If the economy recovers, other property projects will raise our pretax profit to more than $162 million.”

The company, owned by Vietnam’s richest man, Doan Nguyen Duc, said it would invest more in exploring and mining its iron ore concessions this year, but did not say how much. It controls estimated iron reserves of 30 million tonnes in Cambodia and 20 million tonnes in Laos.

The firm owns prominent Vietnamese football franchise HAGL. The head of the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC), Sao Sokha, visited the team’s training facilities in Vietnam in September where he met Doan Nguyen Duc, according to the FFC’s Web site.

During the visit, “the Chairman expressed intentions to make investments in Cambodia on rubber, mining, and electricity”, the Web site said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY BLOOMBERG
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