Ex-CapitaLand China Boss Lucas Loh Joins Vietnamese Developer as CEO

Ex-CapitaLand China Boss Lucas Loh Joins Vietnamese Developer as CEO

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Lucas Loh Jen Yuh

Lucas Loh Jen Yuh led CapitaLand China from 2014 to 2021

Former CapitaLand China and Hopson Development boss Lucas Loh Jen Yuh has joined the region’s ‘China Plus One’ wave with a new role with a Ho Chi Minh City-based township developer, according to an announcement this week.

Loh, who spent two decades with CapitaLand in China, including serving as chief executive for the Singapore giant’s mainland unit from 2014 through 2021, has taken on the CEO role with Vietnam’s Nam Long Investment starting on 30 March.

Chairman Quang Xuan Nguyen said the appointment aligns with Nam Long’s goal of expanding its core business beyond affordable housing and township developments, into commercial property development, as well as investment properties and asset management.

“The group hence requires strong competencies and leadership from experienced leaders in the fields where Nam Long is expanding. This not only supports the sustainable development of the group but also serves the interests of shareholders, partners, and stakeholders,” Nguyen said in a statement dated 4 March. “Mr. Lucas Loh was selected by the Board of Directors based on his suitability for the criteria set for this stage of development.”

South of the Border

Now 57, Loh takes on the Nam Long role after ending a nearly three-year stint as co-president of Guangzhou developer Hopson Development Holdings in January, citing personal reasons.

Nam Long is co-developing Izumi City with Japan’s Hankyu Hanshin Properties

During his stay at Hopson, which specialises in medium to high-end housing developments in mainland China, Loh fostered major residential projects including the completion of the second phase of the Beijing Jinmao Place residential project in Beijing and the Town of Hangzhou Bay condo development in Shanghai.

Prior to joining CapitaLand in 2001, Loh held investment and asset management roles with Singapore state-run investment firm Temasek Holdings starting in 1996.

In his new role at Nam Long, Loh is expected to lead the firm’s growth as it aims to strengthen its core business in residential and township developments, in addition to leading diversification into commercial projects.

The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange-listed company also said it aims to expand into managing third-party investments in the long term.

Housing Slide

Nam Long is amping up its leadership after Vietnam’s shaky housing market caused its revenues to tumble 27 percent in 2023 from a year earlier to VND 3.18 trillion ($129 million), its latest financial statement showed.

The company’s net profit also fell by 13 percent last year to VND 484 billion from VND 556 billion in 2022, with sales of apartments, townhouses and villas making up 95 percent of its VND 1.6 trillion in revenue in the fourth quarter of last year.

In the Dong Nai provincial city of Bien Hoa, east of Ho Chi Minh City, Nam Long has partnered with Japan’s Hankyu Hanshin Properties to develop Izumi City, a township incorporating 3,000 homes, commercial buildings, a hospital and schools.

Nam Long has also partnered with Singapore’s Keppel Ltd since 2015, with the Temasek Holdings-backed giant holding an 8 percent stake in the Vietnamese firm as of 31 December 2022. In 2020, Keppel agreed to develop commercial facilities in Nam Long’s 355-hectare Waterpoint township project near Ho Chi Minh City.

Across Vietnam Nam Long says it has 11 ongoing and completed large-scale townships with more than 681 hectares of land bank for future developments.

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