HCM CITY — Property service provider CBRE expects 2012 to be the year of merger and acquisition activities in Viet Nam's real estate market, increasing its competitiveness and liquidity.
|A show apartment in Xuan Mai Tower in the capital. 2012 is expected to be a year of merger and acquisition activities in Viet Nam's real estate market. — VNA/VNS File Photo
It says that during the first nine months of 2011, the total value of M&A reached US$251 million, third behind consumer goods and finance.
While the dominant formula for transactions has been domestic seller and foreign buyer, "we still see great potential in transactions between foreign sellers and local buyers or even between two foreign parties," says a company press release.
"From what has happened in the Vietnamese real estate market, we can easily see this is a reaction based on the urgent need."
It explains that a sluggish market over the last three years plus tightening credit policies have left most developers without enough resources to continue their projects, forcing them to sell some in their portfolio in order to execute others.
Furthermore, the few enterprises with better financial health have also realised it is no longer appropriate to develop projects swiftly "without orientation".
CBRE feels it is important that these firms co-operate with financially capable partners who are also experienced in project development, especially in the targeted sectors and fields. The partners should also have "in-depth knowledge of the Viet Nam market such as market cycles, population income, property purchasing practices of domestic buyers and real estate credit," the press release says.
While there is considerable potential for M&A transactions, there are several hurdles in the Vietnamese market.
The majority of Vietnamese project owners still feel that "to sell is to fail", and are not comfortable with talking to investors, funds or any agents with an open mind, the CBRE press release says.
They also lack marketing expertise to introduce their projects to potential clients. There are also many who want to keep the name of their buildings after the transaction.
The lack of transparency, the tendency to ask for very high prices, the lack of flexibility in business development plans and reluctance to give up controlling shares in a project are other hurdles, the company says.
It advises that Vietnamese real estate companies looking to sell their projects need to prepare clear legal particulars, compensation for site clearance, fully-paid land fees and get ready for any form of co-operation, joint venture or BCC.
They should also put themselves in the shoes of a prospective buyer before losing their latter's interest by asking for higher-than-market prices.
"With the global crisis and overwhelming difficulties of the Vietnamese economy in 2012, we all know that the number of real potential investors is low. If we lose the chance, others will surely seize it." — VNS