Keangnam investor directed to refund maintenance fee

Wednesday, Jun 03, 2015 18:08

The Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower in the capital. Local authorities have asked the investor of the building to refund maintenance fee to the residents here by June 10. — Photo

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — The People's Committee of South Tu Liem District asked Keangnam Vina Ltd. Co. to refund maintenance fee to the residents of Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower by June 10.

VnExress online reported that the committee made the request as it worked with the company, in conjunction with the Ha Noi Department of Construction and the management board of the apartment building, to address the issue of maintenance fee on June 1.

Earlier, after the residents raised concerns, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai had asked the authorities to investigate the issue.

The management board of the tower sent a document to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on May 8, reporting that several problems between the residents of the tenement and its investor remained unsolved.

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

Keangnam Vina, an affiliate of 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.

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

A representative of Keangnam Vina told VnExpress that participants at the June 1 working session had not been able to provide a consistent sum or a specific repayment method. The unidentified representative added that the investor will try their best to settle the problem, although fund was significant and hard to be paid on time.

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. — VNS

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