Inaugural CREF Webcast Highlights Realities of Asian Real Estate Investment

The first in a series of CREF webcasts focused on the current status of real estate investment in Asia, including methods for investing, the status of capital markets, and how to deal with political instability. The webcast, “Real Estate Practices in Asia: A Primer,” is available on demand. It features two Asian investment experts: Michael Dang, Board Advisor, Hoa Binh Corporation, and Patrick Kwok, Executive Director, Henderson Land Development Company Limited. Dang and Kwok drew on their personal experiences to explain investing issues in Hong Kong, Vietnam, and other Asian nations.

Presented through the support of BlackRock, the webcast was hosted by Daniel Quan, CREF’s academic director and a professor of finance at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration.

“I want to thank Michael Dang and Patrick Kwok for their time, as well as BlackRock for the use of its facilities,” said Quan. “This session sets a high bar for future webcasts.”

Among other topics, Kwok explained the tender process for acquiring leased land from the Chinese government, by presenting proposals that exactly meet the criteria for the project, as determined by the government. This would include bringing in the operators of facilities planned for the location. Dang explained the leasehold process in other Asian nations, where investors can benefit from working with a local partner, as well as telling the government about planned holding periods.

Dang also noted that governments of emerging nations in Asia are working more closely with investors to maintain stability, since all are seeking foreign exchange. Vietnam, for instance, promises to protect international investors’ principal. Kwok advised that foreign investors must bring more to the table than just cash, since local investors in Singapore and Hong Kong have substantial financial resources.