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Real estate grabs big chunk of foreign cash

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From VNNet 2.1.08

Real estate grabs big chunk of foreign cash

Around 85 percent of foreign direct investment in Ho Chi Minh City last year has flowed into the property sector, worrying experts and authorities.

HCM City had attracted 2.5 billion USD in the first 11 months, the highest in the country along with Ha Noi and Dong Nai province, Thai Van Re, head of the city?s Department of Planning and Investment, said.

Over 2.1 billion USD had been invested in real estate, mainly apartment and office blocks, he added.

Do Thi Loan, general secretary of the HCM City Real Estate Association, said her association had been contacted by many companies from the US , Australia , Canada , Italy , Singapore , China , and Japan about investing in the city?s property market as well as elsewhere in Viet Nam .

They said other Asian markets were nearly saturated while Viet Nam was in the first stage of urbanization, she said.

They said further that in the country?s major cities, the demand for housing, office space, and shopping was rising together with the population, and offered great investment opportunities, she added.

The deputy head of the Economics Institute, Nguyen Thieng Duc, warned, however, that haphazard construction of buildings would affect both the city?s visual appeal and environment.

He added that the administration should improve infrastructure to prevent traffic jams and floods, and make it appealing for foreigners to invest in other sectors.