Govt orders investigation of Keangnam tenement fee issue

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 20:04

The Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower. The Government has asked Ha Noi authorities to investigate the issue of maintenance fee at this building. -- Photo VnEconomy

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has asked the Ha Noi People's Committee to investigate the issue of maintenance fee at Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower, after residents raised concerns.

According to local media reports, the management board of the tenement sent a document to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on May 8, reporting that several problems between the residents of Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower and its investor remained unsolved.

One major hitch was that the investor was facing financial difficulties and might not be able to pay them maintenance funds worth up to VND160 billion, or US$7.62 million. They have grown particularly uneasy about this since the press reported that the building was put on the market earlier this year at a price of $800 million.

South Korea's Keangnam Enterprises completed the construction of the 1.2 trillion won ($1.1 billion) building in 2011. It also owns the project.

News website said the company sold more than 900 apartments in the project in 2010 and extracted 2 per cent of their combined value to use as maintenance fund, in accordance with legal requirements.

The law also requires the firm to refund the extracted amount to the residents immediately after a management board of the building was established. However, even after three years of the board's establishment, this has not been done.

"Once they finish selling [the building] and return to their home country, we will not know how to get back our money," Doan Ky Thuy, a resident, told the website.

Meanwhile, the investor reportedly announced in an official document in March that the maintenance fund was valued at VND125 billion ($5.95 million), significantly lower than the residents' estimate of VND160 billion.

Deputy PM Hai has asked Ha Noi authorities to investigate all the issues in accordance with existing regulations and deliver a report to the Government.

The 72-storey tower, also known as Landmark 72, is located in the capital's South Tu Liem District and is the tallest building in Viet Nam. Its apartments were sold in 2010 at prices hovering around $3,000 per square metre, according to VnEconomy online.

The South Korean media reported on May 14 that Qatar Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund, had agreed to buy Landmark 72 for $800 million and had gained exclusive rights for the ensuing negotiations. However, the next day, the media affirmed this was fake news.

Keangnam Enterprises was once chaired by businessman Sung Wan-jong, who hanged himself from a tree on a mountain in April, following some allegations of dirty dealings with the South Korean Government. — VNS

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