Seoul bullish on Cambodia

Seoul bullish on Cambodia


Planned projects
Kingdom’s modern
metropolis

The status of planned projects, clockwise from left: Developers GS Construction & Engineering are holding construction of the planned International Finance Centre, a 52- story complex to be built along Sothearos Blvd. The stoppage of construction on Gold Tower 42, located on the corner of Sihanouk and Monivong Blvds, went unexplained by developers Yan Woo Cambodia Co Ltd, who originally planned to finish the project in 2012. Construction is ongoing on the seven floor International Business House, or K Tower, being built by Kproperties. By far the largest of any construction project in Cambodia, Camko City, being developed by WorldCity on the northern edge of Phnom Penh, expects to offer well over a million square metres of residential and commercial space, but has yet to propose a time line for its various projects. Information from CB Richard Ellis

THE time is right for South Korean companies to invest in the Cambodian real estate market, as the sector is showing signs of emerging from the bottom, according to Moon Byung-soo, the executive vice- president of Canadia Bank.

The economy was strong in South Korea and real estate prices were attractive, he said on the sidelines of a business seminar held in Canadia Tower for about 40 South Korean developers and construction firms with the theme of Cambodia’s business culture.

“Cambodia needs time [to fully recover its real estate sector] but I am encouraging investors to come – you should come here from now on as the real estate sector has hit the bottom,” he said.

The domestic agricultural and tourism sectors were already on the upswing, following the world economic crisis, according to Moon Byung-soo.

“I hope at the end of this year we will see some recovery in the real estate sector because I see Cambodian people gaining improvements in their daily lives,” he said.

Many potential South Korean investors lack information about Cambodia, according to Kim Yung-ho, representative at the Phnom Penh office of the Korean Global Construction company.

“We must understand the real estate and construction sector is still struggling to recover from the crisis,” he said. “Everybody hopes the economic cycle, particularly real estate development and construction, start rebounding from next year.”

South Korean developers should also increasingly borrow from local banks as well as banks based in their homeland, he said.

“Our real estate developers are depending on financing from Korean banks, but now it is time to look for local financing from local banks,” he said.

The International Monetary Fund said this month this Cambodia’s projected economic growth was 5 percent for 2010. It said growth was coming from rebounding tourism, agricultural, and garment sectors, but added the construction and real estate sectors remained sluggish.

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