Protego Real Estate Investors LLP will set up a US$500 million fund to invest in Vietnamese residential properties by the end of June, the UK-based asset manager’s second venture in Asia.
Equity investment of US$200 million is being sought and the fund will focus on luxury apartments in popular urban locations, estates in suburban and coastal locations and boutique-branded resorts and villas, London-based Protego said in a statement on its website.
The Protego Qudos Vietnam Property Fund will start by acquiring five projects, mostly apartments in downtown HCM City.
Protego, which manages about US$3 billion of mainly European assets, joins companies including CapitaLand Ltd, Southeast Asia’s biggest developer, in targeting Vietnam.
The Southeast Asian country’s economy expanded 8.5% in 2007, the fastest pace since 1996, after Vietnam joined the World Trade Organisation last year.
CapitaLand, which has real estate in more than 20 countries, set up a US$300 million Vietnam property fund in February as growth slows in its home market of Singapore.
“Vietnam is rising rapidly up the value curve,” Charles Weeks, Protego’s head of business development, said in the statement.
“There has been significant inward investment in Vietnam as the economy changes from primary exporter of agricultural goods to a manufacturing economy featuring a rapidly expanding electronics and software industry.”
Protego is aiming for an internal net rate of return% and plans to raise equity for investment by the end of June for the US-dollar denominated, eight-year, closed private fund.
The London-based company’s partner for the fund is Vietnam-based property developer Qudos Asia and its sister company, HBP group, a project and construction management company.
This is Protego’s second venture in Asia after the fund management company started raising money in October for the India Office Development Fund.