FLC Group – Vietnam’s ‘Land Genie’ to go international

The FLC Group Joint Stock Company (FLC Group) has been in business for 16 years and is currently a major real estate developer, particularly of resorts. Expanding from its original business of investment and corporate finance consultancy, the group has successfully engaged in the real estate sector since 2009. Its savvy investment strategy has enabled outstanding accomplishments.

The FLC Group also prioritises its social responsibilities. The group has frequently participated in and organised activities to aid flood victims, offered scholarships to impoverished students, built schools in remote villages and helped preserve the environment with beach clean-up campaigns.

Smart investments

In the 2011-2014 period, when the real estate market in Vietnam was in considerable turmoil and the pockets of companies shrank, the FLC Group decided to acquire “frozen” commercial land at low prices and develop them into large-scale projects, getting ahead of the recovery wave. Its solid legal foundation, led by lawyer and entrepreneur Trinh Van Quyet, FLC Group chairman, helped the company successfully close these deals.

The once “dead” properties are now considered outstanding commercial projects in the capital city, making considerable profit for the company. This is one of the premises that has established and confirmed FLC Group’s leading position in Vietnam’s real estate market.

FLC Group’s chairman Trinh Van Quyet (middle) meets with investors on the sidelines of the Singapore road show
in June, 2017.

Resort potential

Simultaneously, besides commercial real estate, the FLC Group foresaw the long-term potential of the resort property sector; and has been exploring and investing in pristine tourism spots along amazing beaches since 2014. All FLC’s resorts are large-scale developments that resemble modern urban complexes with state-of-the-art facilities, professional services and comprehensive amenities.

As of October 2017, the FLC Group’s value was estimated at US$9 billion by UniCap Fund, including the already operational five-star FLC Luxury Resort Vinh Phuc in Vinh Phuc (250ha), FLC Samson Beach & Golf Resort in Thanh Hoa (200ha) and FLC Quy Nhon Beach & Golf Resort in Binh Dinh (1300ha).

In 2017, the group plans to launch the FLC Ha Long Golf Club & Luxury Resort (159ha) and reveal plans for integrated resorts in some of the largest coastal localities in Vietnam, such as Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Quang Binh and Nghe An. In particular, in Quang Ninh, the super-project FLC Van Don has a total investment of US$2 billion, including an 18-hole golf course, five-star hotels, high-end villas and a large-scale casino, which is expected to be the first one in Vietnam for both domestic and international players.

In total, the group is operating and investing in eight out of 28 coastal provinces in Vietnam, covering 7.300ha along 40km of coastline.

FLC Group always offers its clients a truly resort-oriented lifestyle, whether in an extravagant beach villa or on top of a luxurious high-rise hotel. Each FLC project has a distinct character inspired by that region’s culture – a spa service providing ancient Cham treatments, a restaurant using local ingredients or tourist activities to explore beautiful Vietnamese destinations. All these contribute to a truly high-class living environment, turning stunning coastal towns into new travel destinations.

Planning to strike the market with 10 golf courses and resorts, 5,500 condotels, 3,500 villas and 6,000 hotel rooms in 2020, FLC Group aims to confirm its position as the leading resort developer in Vietnam. The group’s accurate investment decisions and vigorous implementation have helped make its stock one of the market’s most liquid, and its chairman among the richest US dollar billionaires on Vietnam’s stock market.

FLC Samson Beach and Golf Resort in the central province of Thanh Hoa

Going green

The group prioritises sustainable social development alongside its economic objectives. It frequently participates in and organises activities to aid flood victims, offers scholarships to impoverished students, builds schools in remote villages and helps preserve the environment with beach clean-up campaigns.

“A resort project’s lifespan is very long. If surrounding landscapes are destroyed because the developer does not pay attention to environmental protection, the fate of the project itself is in tatters,” said FLC Group General Director Le Thanh Vinh.

Vinh reiterated that the fate of the natural landscape also determines the course of a resort real estate project. Therefore, heritage conservation and environmental protection are always goals set by FLC right at the planning phase.

Externally, the architectural design is carefully planned, making utmost efforts to avoid disturbing the natural landscape. And in interior design, every piece of equipment is selected taking into consideration its environmentally friendly standard. Resort employees pay attention to saving energy and other resources everyday as they serve customers.

These are just some of the “Go Green” initiatives that the FLC Group embraces.

Workshops abroad

From its position as a leading corporation in the country, the FLC Group is expanding operations to potential markets in the region. Road shows and workshops to promote FLC’s hospitality products held this year in Singapore and Japan attracted a large number of individual and institutional investors, investment funds and real estate companies from Asia and the world. South Korea, Hong Kong and the United States are seen as the next markets to further promote the group.

On the sidelines of the Singapore road show, Quyet revealed plans to launch a new airline that could take to the skies early next year. He said FLC Group was working with Airbus to lease some seven aircraft by 2018.

Previously, FLC’s board had decided in May to set up a new airline called Bamboo Airways. Bamboo Airways will take a different path from its domestic counterparts, focusing on direct services connecting international markets with emerging tourist destinations in Vietnam, instead of major urban areas where the aviation infrastructure is already overloaded.

Priority will be given to localities where FLC has built major tourist complexes, including Quang Ninh, Hai Phong in the north, Thanh Hoa and Quy Nhon (Binh Dinh Province) in the central region, and Nha Trang (Khanh Hoa Province) and Phu Quoc (Kien Giang Province) in the south.

The operation orientation of Bamboo Airways is expected to help the group better exploit existing aviation infrastructure while avoiding overloaded airports.

“Overall, our projects are well received and highly rated among potential partners from overseas. We are finalizing the signing process to strategically cooperate in the field of financial investment, resort real estate, construction, technology, agriculture and healthcare,” Vinh said.