Jade miner turns hand to Yangon condo

Nay Min Kabar Gems & Jade Mining Company has made its debut in the real estate sector, launching a mid-range condominium in Yangon through its subsidiary Green Development.

Apartments in the Leaf Residence went on sale last week, spokesperson Ko Zaw Min Htoo told The Myanmar Times. Units are being sold-off plan for the 12.5-storey project – construction will begin this month and is expected to take three years, with completion scheduled for December 2018.

“We have changed our focus to include property, to expand our business in a sustainable direction,” Ko Zaw Min Htoo said. “As the country opens up, real estate has a lot of potential. It’s a more sustainable sector than mining.”

Nay Min Kabar is part of IME Corporation, which has interests in agriculture, construction, mining and media. In the mining sector it operates tin, tungsten and gold mines throughout the country, through subsidiaries Southern World Mining and Southern Value Mining, according to its website.

The US$45 million condominium project is in Hlaing township and units are on sale at an average price of $130 per square foot. The company has started soil testing and piling and is waiting for approval from the High-rise Inspection Committee, likely to be granted this month, said Ko Zaw Min Htoo.

Prices are lower than the market average – he hopes this will allow those with a tighter budget to buy their first apartment. “We want to enter the property market offering people the chance to buy a condominium unit at a reasonable price, to build up a good reputation for the long term,” he said.

The project includes seven types of apartment. The total area of the building will be 800,000 square feet, on 2.7 acres of land.

Green Development decided to build a residential project despite a slowdown in the market over the past year, said Ko Zaw Min Htoo.

“We will complete the project even if the market does not pick up, because we want to make a good name for ourselves,” he said, adding that the company plans to develop more projects in the future.

Green Development owns the land – classified as grant land – and pays its taxes, so buyers need not worry about land issues, he said.Earlier this year, the sale of units in build-operate-transfer projects slowed as buyers grew wary of risks associated with land ownership.

Ko Zaw Min Htoo said he hoped the market would soon open up to allow non-Myanmar citizens to buy units, as some foreigners have already expressed an interest.

“We hope the market will be opened to foreign buyers, but the Condominium Law has not yet been passed, so we don’t dare to sell overseas yet,” he said. “We are looking forward to a new government, to change the law in the coming months.” A draft law to allow foreigners to buy condo units, under certain conditions, was first expected to be passed in 2013.

Source: Myanmar Times

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