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Construction approvals rise

Construction approvals rise

THE Kingdom’s construction industry enjoyed an 87 per cent jump in government-approved investment during May, according to the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction’s latest figures.

Officials green-lighted 868 projects worth an estimated US$505 million in the first five months of 2011, a rise of 86.7 per cent. This contrasted with the 889 projects totalling $270 million in the same period of 2010, according to Ministry statistics released last week.

But although this year has brought fewer total investments, the ministry said the overall number of larger projects had increased.

Construction projects of more than 3,000 square met-res had risen by 153 per cent, Construction Department director Lao Tip Seiha said.

They included condominiums, garment factories, warehouses, oil and gas stations and markets, among other buildings, he said.

“Even though we got fewer construction projects than last year, they are still large projects with big value,” Lao Tip Seiha said.

He also noted that the growth in investment had outpaced the hiring of new workers to service some of the projects.

At the same time, insiders have pointed to the rise in overall activity in the real estate sector.

“There are a lot of transact-ions happening now, as investors look to buy and sell large properties in Phnom Penh and on the outskirts of the city,” Cambodia Properties Limited managing director Cheng Kheng said.

Total construction investment for 2010 reached $840 million as a result of 2,149 projects in the Kingdom. Investment during the previous year had been significantly larger, as nearly $2 billion had been spread across 2,230 projects, according to Construction Ministry data.

The National Bank of Cambodia's 2010 annual supervision report shows lending to construction increased by 2.9 per cent in 2010 over the previous year, although overall lending increased by 25 per cent during that period.

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