Mindy Tan | The Business Times | Saturday, Apr 27, 2013

SINGAPORE – Raimon Land is gearing up for expansion, and Singapore plays a key role in its plans.

The developer, listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, has Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the US on its radar.

Lionel Lee, who heads Singapore-listed offshore services group Ezra Holdings and who acquired a 24.97 per cent stake in Raimon Land this year, said: “Singapore is well-positioned to extend the company’s plans to venture outside of Thailand.”

“Given the country’s highly-educated and savvy investors in the property market, it is considered as the launching pad for Raimon’s next growth as it can be exposed to a bigger network of potential clients.”

The synergies posed gave him one reason to acquire the stake in Raimon. Indeed, his family-owned Jit Sun Investments already has vested interests in the commercial and hospitality property business in the US.

Raimon Land’s management is reviewing options for collaboration to tap this synergy, said Mr Lee. Beyond geographical expansion, the company is also looking to diversify from property development to property ownership and management to raise its recurring earnings.

Mr Lee said: “We are working on a few assets at The River. The plans include serviced apartments, an adjoining retail mall and a possible event-hosting site.”

The River is a development on the Chao Phraya River recently completed by Raimon Land.

Separately, Raimon Land is unveiling 185 Rajadamri, located in downtown Bangkok, between Wednesday and Saturday.

The project, which is close to completion, has been successfully marketed in Thailand; the majority of its 250 units have been sold to a mix of local and foreign buyers.

However, units facing the two green lungs of Bangkok – Lumpini Park and the Royal Sports Club – have been reserved for the Singapore launch of the project. Simon Derville, Raimon’s deputy vice-president of business development, said properties in Bangkok’s core Central Business District make for relatively safe investments as the area is acknowledged as one within the reach of only better-off Thais and foreigners.

With the new mass transit lines under construction, there are some opportunistic purchases on the outskirts of the city core, although these are deemed more exposed to the volatility of the property market, Mr Derville added.

Owners of residential apartments in Bangkok are enjoying 5 to 7 per cent per annum in rental yield, he said.

185 Rajadamri’s 35-storey tower represents the last opportunity for freehold ownership along the famed Rajadamri Road. The two-bedroom units at 185 Rajadamri are 108 to 140 square metres in size; the three-bedroom units range from 189 to 200 sq m, and the loft duplexes are from 123 to 270 sq m.

Prices vary by facing and level, but start at $1,100 per square foot; upper-floor units facing the park and Royal Sports Club cost up to $1,750 psf.

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