Cambodia construction investment surges

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Artist’s impression of the Gold Tower 42 in Phnom Penh, built by South Korean investors

The construction sector in Cambodia has attracted a total investment of $868 million in the first half of 2012, an increase 36 per cent compared to the same period in 2011.

According to figures released on July 30 by the country’s Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, licenses for 849 construction projects were issued between January and July 2012.

The number is lower than in the first half of 2011, when 1,079 projects were approved, but the investment into single projects this year was higher, said Lao Tip Seiha, deputy director-general of the ministry’s construction general-department.

The projects include residential units, commercial buildings, apartments, hotels, agricultural product processing plants and garment factories.

The investment came from both local and foreign sources. Among the foreign investors, most were from South Korea, China, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The construction industry in Cambodia regained strength in 2011, after it recovered from a slump during the 2008 global financial crisis. In 2011, construction approval surged 158 per cent compared to 2010 to 2,129 projects with a total investment of $1.73 billion in 2011.

Mainly South Korean investors started to launch big skyscraper projects, for example the Gold Tower 42. Other big projects are the business tower built by Vattanac Capital (as reported by Inside Investor in April), which is expected to be completed before the end of this year, and The Riviera building by local lender Canadia Bank, which bears a resemblance to the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. The bank has also built the 32-story Canadia Tower, which became its head office in 2009.

Other major new buildings in Phnom Penh include a 20-story resort and convention centre, with shopping areas and cigar lounges, under construction on a 14-hectare spit of land overlooking the Mekong River in the middle of Phnom Penh. The site sits directly across from the main downtown riverside promenade, meaning the building will likely become a landmark. It features a Sokha Hotel, a popular local brand controlled by a Cambodian oil conglomerate, as well as luxury condominiums.

Possible design of the Diamond Tower in Phnom Penh, which aims to be Asia’s tallest structure when finished.

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Huns Sen also has a plan to build Asia’s tallest skyscraper in Phnom Penh. The envisaged 555-metre skyscraper worth $200 million has been proposed to the land management ministry, and Canadia Bank is involved in the project.

However, so far investors have been cautious to build such a project in one of Southeast Asia’s poorest nations. Reportedly the building would be named “Diamond Tower” and constructed by a Cambodian company, Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation, owned by tycoon Pung Khiav Se, executive director of Canadia Bank.

In March 2012, Hun Sen publicly said that he would “grant a medal to the builder of the highest skyscraper in Cambodia”.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Artist’s impression of the Gold Tower 42 in Phnom Penh, built by South Korean investors

The construction sector in Cambodia has attracted a total investment of $868 million in the first half of 2012, an increase 36 per cent compared to the same period in 2011.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Artist’s impression of the Gold Tower 42 in Phnom Penh, built by South Korean investors

The construction sector in Cambodia has attracted a total investment of $868 million in the first half of 2012, an increase 36 per cent compared to the same period in 2011.

According to figures released on July 30 by the country’s Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, licenses for 849 construction projects were issued between January and July 2012.

The number is lower than in the first half of 2011, when 1,079 projects were approved, but the investment into single projects this year was higher, said Lao Tip Seiha, deputy director-general of the ministry’s construction general-department.

The projects include residential units, commercial buildings, apartments, hotels, agricultural product processing plants and garment factories.

The investment came from both local and foreign sources. Among the foreign investors, most were from South Korea, China, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The construction industry in Cambodia regained strength in 2011, after it recovered from a slump during the 2008 global financial crisis. In 2011, construction approval surged 158 per cent compared to 2010 to 2,129 projects with a total investment of $1.73 billion in 2011.

Mainly South Korean investors started to launch big skyscraper projects, for example the Gold Tower 42. Other big projects are the business tower built by Vattanac Capital (as reported by Inside Investor in April), which is expected to be completed before the end of this year, and The Riviera building by local lender Canadia Bank, which bears a resemblance to the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. The bank has also built the 32-story Canadia Tower, which became its head office in 2009.

Other major new buildings in Phnom Penh include a 20-story resort and convention centre, with shopping areas and cigar lounges, under construction on a 14-hectare spit of land overlooking the Mekong River in the middle of Phnom Penh. The site sits directly across from the main downtown riverside promenade, meaning the building will likely become a landmark. It features a Sokha Hotel, a popular local brand controlled by a Cambodian oil conglomerate, as well as luxury condominiums.

Possible design of the Diamond Tower in Phnom Penh, which aims to be Asia’s tallest structure when finished.

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Huns Sen also has a plan to build Asia’s tallest skyscraper in Phnom Penh. The envisaged 555-metre skyscraper worth $200 million has been proposed to the land management ministry, and Canadia Bank is involved in the project.

However, so far investors have been cautious to build such a project in one of Southeast Asia’s poorest nations. Reportedly the building would be named “Diamond Tower” and constructed by a Cambodian company, Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation, owned by tycoon Pung Khiav Se, executive director of Canadia Bank.

In March 2012, Hun Sen publicly said that he would “grant a medal to the builder of the highest skyscraper in Cambodia”.

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