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AP says Japanese partner remains bullish

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SET-listed developer AP Thailand Plc and its Japanese partner, Mitsubishi Estate Group, are committed to jointly investing in four new condominium projects worth 23 billion baht this year, mainly to tap the middle- to high-end segment.

The company said Life Sukhumvit 62 will be the first project launched through AP’s “i-booking” online system, scheduled for March.

Over the five years of partnership, cumulative joint venture projects have been valued at 74.4 billion baht, AP said.

AP chief executive Anuphong Assavabhokhin said Mitsubishi Estate remains optimistic about the potential of Thailand.

Their past partnership and consumer acceptance of six existing condominiums have led to success in presales at new projects, raising Mitsubishi Estate’s confidence in working together into the future, Mr. Anuphong said.

“This year, Mitsubishi Estate has more of its specialized team from Japan stationed in Thailand to work with AP’s team to make project approval and execution faster,” he said. “Our business plans with Mitsubishi Estate will go ahead uninterrupted to ensure we can grow by leaps and bounds.

“Last year, AP worked on a larger scale in our joint condominium development projects. Life One Wireless, Life Ladprao and Life Asoke-Rama 9, all three of them contributed to 180% growth in condominium presales from the previous year, which is a cause for great satisfaction for Mitsubishi Estate.”

Shojiro Kojima, managing director of Mitsubishi Estate Asia, also expressed confidence in the potential of the economy of Thailand and the success of the project development with AP Thailand.

“The budget for overseas investment by [Mitsubishi Estate] over a three-year period (2018-20) is ¥400,000 million (11.7 billion baht),” he said. “We have investment plans for the US, the UK, Europe, China, Oceania, and Asean.

“Thailand is one of our main investment targets because Thailand has strong economic growth, which is expected to remain so in the long term, especially in Bangkok. We see an opportunity for income per household in Bangkok, which is increasing every year due to an expansion of the population from immigration. The transport system, which has improved a lot, has also contributed to an emergence of new urban centers. It has made Thai people more mobile with a smaller family size.”

According to Mr. Kojima, Mitsubishi Estate has had a satisfying outcome from its partnership, both in sales and ownership transfers.

As for sales of condominiums under the joint venture during 2014-17, there were 11 projects worth more than 51.43 billion with average total sales of 90%.

Six projects have been completed and are ready for move-in. They are Rhythm Sukhumvit 36-38, Aspire Ratchada-Wongsawang, Aspire Sathorn-Thapra, Rhythm Asoke 2 and two projects for which transfers began in the fourth quarter of 2017: Life Pinklao and Rhythm Rangnam.

Customers have continually accepted ownership of the condominiums, making ownership transfers exceed original projections as a result of collaboration in the development and application of AP Check List, one of the essential tools for controlling product quality, from the design process to intensive improvement of the quality control process.

“We intend to work together with AP to further develop quality condominiums in Thailand for good quality of life in the future,” Mr. Kojima said. “We are looking to develop at least 20,000 million baht worth of further projects with AP.”




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