Japan’s Nomura Real Estate drives Asian expansion with Vietnam deal

Japanese property group Nomura Real Estate has bought the Zen Plaza office building in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), as the firm expands further throughout Asia.

The 14-storey asset has 11,700 sq.m. of net lettable area and is located near the main business district and many Vietnamese fashion boutiques, the buyer announced. The sale price was undisclosed.

Zen Plaza, Ho Chi Minh City (image: Nomura Real Estate)
Zen Plaza (image: Nomura Real Estate)

For Nomura, the transaction is the latest in its overseas expansion ambitions, having announced plans in April to invest about JPY 300bn (US$2.8bn) in overseas real estate over the next nine years.

The deal comes as increased demand for grade A office space has exceeded supply levels in HCMC, driving up average asking rent at a rate of roughly 2% to 2.5% a quarter in recent times, says Colliers.

The multi-let Zen Plaza faces Nguyễn Trãi Street in District 1 and is mostly occupied by Japanese and other foreign businesses.

Prior to the transaction, Nomura had bought the Sun Wah Tower multi-let office building and participated in the Phú Mỹ Hưng Midtown condominium project in HCMC.

In HCMC, the office market is said to be nearing capacity, with average occupancy among grade A office buildings at 95% and 88% among grade B offices.

While 113,000 sq.m. of new grade A and B office stock is expected in HCMC by the end of the year, Colliers expects demand will continue to outpace supply and average asking rent will continue to steadily rise.

The Japanese property group is looking for further investments in the city, having established a local subsidiary in HCMC earlier this year. 

It’s the company’s fifth overseas office in Asia, with local entities in Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.

Under the expansion, Nomura has invested in real estate throughout Bangkok, the Chinese city of Shenyang, Manila and other locations.

Listed on the Tokyo stock exchange, Nomura Real Estate is headquartered in Tokyo and has almost 7,000 employees.

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