Keppel Land builds up Myanmar presence with expansions

At the Inya Wing opening on Wednesday were (from left) Keppel Land (Myanmar) president Goh York Lin; Keppel Land CEO, Mr Ang; Keppel Corp chairman Lee Boon Yang; Myanmar Minister U Ohn Maung and Keppel Corp CEO Loh Chin Hua.
At the Inya Wing opening on Wednesday were (from left) Keppel Land (Myanmar) president Goh York Lin; Keppel Land CEO, Mr Ang; Keppel Corp chairman Lee Boon Yang; Myanmar Minister U Ohn Maung and Keppel Corp CEO Loh Chin Hua.PHOTO: KEPPEL LAND

Keppel Land is strengthening its hotel and commercial portfolio in Yangon, Myanmar's rapidly developing leading city.

The Singapore-listed property firm yesterday held a topping-off ceremony for its joint venture project, Junction City Tower, which is being developed jointly with Myanmar-based construction company Shwe Taung Group.

Keppel Land holds 40 per cent of the project with a total investment of US$47.4 million ($65.4 million).

Junction City Tower is a Grade A office building in Yangon's central business district and will offer a net lettable area of about 34,000 sq m of prime office space. It is expected to be completed next year.

Keppel Land chief executive Ang Wee Gee said in a speech at the event yesterday: "We have great confidence in Myanmar's strong growth potential. The influx of foreign direct investments... continues to increase and has reached a record high of over US$9 billion for the fiscal year 2015 to 2016."

Mr Ang added that the development will help to meet rising demand for office space as the Myanmar government opens up to new investments.

Junction City Tower is part of the Junction City mixed-use development, which comprises the Pan-Pacific Hotel, a retail mall and residential towers.

The office building is Keppel Land's third project in Myanmar since its foray there in 1993. The other two are Sedona Hotel Yangon and Sedona Hotel Mandalay, which it both owns and manages.

On Wednesday, it opened the new Inya Wing at the Sedona Hotel Yangon, boosting Sedona's portfolio in Myanmar to over 1,000 rooms.

The event marks the 20th birthday of the hotel.

The 29-storey Inya Wing adds 431 rooms to the hotel, bringing the total number of rooms there to 797.

The connector between the new wing and the existing block features a high-end retail gallery and an elevated podium that houses a swimming pool, a fitness centre, a spa and a restaurant.

Keppel Land said  U Ohn Maung, union minister at Myanmar's Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, and Singapore's deputy chief of mission and counsellor to Myanmar, Mr Koh Chee Chian, were among 300 guests who attended the opening ceremony.

Keppel Land's Mandalay hotel has 251 rooms and was refurbished in December 2014.

Wong Siew Ying

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 20, 2016, with the headline 'Keppel Land builds up Myanmar presence with expansions'. Print Edition | Subscribe