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New condominium launched in Phnom Pehn

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Sonatra Group head Sorn Sokna (R) shakes hands with Grand Corp chairman Susumu Hayashi in Phnom Penh on Monday, Oct.01, 2012. Photograph: Meng Kimlong/Phnom Penh Post

Sonatra Group head Sorn Sokna (R) shakes hands with Grand Corp chairman Susumu Hayashi in Phnom Penh on Monday, Oct.01, 2012. Photograph: Meng Kimlong/Phnom Penh Post

A new real estate joint venture between local Sonatra Group and Japan’s Grand Corp launched a $6.5 million condominium project in BKK1 yesterday.

The 26-storey tower, with 50 units, will be built with high-quality, energy-saving Japanese equipment, according to the new firm’s chief executive, Jun Takeguchi.

This project marks increased investment in Cambodia from Japanese companies in the wake of high emotions over disputed islands with China.

The launch ceremony for the new company, called Sonatra Grand Realty, took place yesterday afternoon at Sonatra Securities headquarters on Monivong Boulevard, just south of Mao Tse Toung Boulevard.

“Japanese are coming to Cambodia, not only because now Japan and China have a conflict,” said Takeguchi. “When most Japanese companies are looking to East Asian countries to invest in, Cambodia is the first candidate."

Takeguchi said he saw a lot of demand in the luxury condominium market.

The new building’s address will be number 4 Street 334 in BKK1, and it will have high-quality Japanese kitchen and bathroom equipment and energy-efficient lighting, as well as a swimming pool, a gym and a health club, Takeguchi said.

“We will start selling when it is almost finished,” he continued. “We don’t know the cost of the condos yet because it will be in 2015.”

Future real estate development projects for the joint venture are likely to be located in suburban areas a little further from the centre of the city.

Takeguchi currently serves as deputy CEO of Sonatra Microfinance and Sonatra Securities and was formerly employed by Mizuho Bank, Japan’s largest.

“I think the Cambodian economy will grow steadily, but not in a rush,” he said.

“The Cambodian market is very small, but economic growth is step by step and more Japanese will come to invest in Cambodia – not only in manufacturing, but in other services including restaurants and cafes,” Takeguchi said.

Present at yesterday’s ceremony was Grand Corp’s Japanese chairman Susumu Hayashi.

“In Osaka, Grand Corporation has a lot of buildings. We are also doing restaurants, beauty salons and wedding and funeral businesses,” Hayashi said.

Takeguchi said he and his Japanese associates chose Sorn Sokna to do business with because “his way of thinking is similar to the Japanese and he does not rush. We think we can trust him and that’s why we chose him as a partner”.

Sorn Sokna, whose Sonatra Group also owns Sonatra Securities and the Financial Institute of Cambodia, is also a shareholder in the new Japanese barbecue restaurant Uramai on Street 306.

Established with an initial capital of $100,000, Sonatra Grand Realty is a joint venture between Sorn Sokna, chairman of Sonatra Group, which holds a 51 per cent stake, and Susumu Hayashi, chairman of Grand Corp, with 49 per cent of the company.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stuart Alan Becker at stuart.becker@gmail.com

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