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Focus Travel Nha Trang JSC luxury resort project still faces delay,



In May 2013, after a new investment certificate was signed for the VND1.2 trillion ($57 million) resort project, formerly named Rusalka and now named Champarama Resort and Spa, the developer – Focus Travel Nha Trang JSC – committed to opening the project two years later.

In actuality, the project was first suspended nine years ago in 2005, and still it faces the same problems it did then and has even added a few to the list.

One of the main reasons behind the delay was its conflict with Nha Trang Bay plans, currently in development by the Khanh Hoa province People’s Committee, said Vo Tan Thai, director of the province’s Department of Planning and Investment.

There have been different opinions on plans for the bay, particularly a great deal of opposition from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, as well as scientists and architects, as several investment projects are not correlative with the Law on Cultural Heritage.

According to Thai, at present there is no word on as to when the project will restart construction.

“The planning issues have been resolved, but many procedures have yet to be completed. At present, the developer is still working on getting a building permit to restart the project,” he added.

Another pending issue is a debt from the old developer – investment and tourism development company Rus-Inves-Tur (RIT).

To take up the project, the new developer Focus Travel agreed to inherit all of the rights and responsibilities but also debts of their predecessor.

Some of the debts have been resolved, but one with the BMC Building Materials Co Ltd. under the Ministry of Industry and Trade remains outstanding.

The initial debt was for VND51.6 billion ($2.4 million), but BMC now lists it as VND275.5 billion ($13.1 million).

After the province granted the project it’s new investment certificate last year, BMC filed petitions requesting unsettled problems be resolved, particularly debt obligations, before handing the project to a new developer.

BMC’s complaints even reached the desk of the prime minister.

Last Thursday, Khanh Hoa People’s Committee hosted a meeting to settle these issues.

It is expected that the province will soon issue a document detailing resolutions.

The erstwhile Rusalka project received the investment certificate in 2000 and was set to set up a tourism complex spanning 43.5 hectares that cost some $15 million.

It was invested by RIT, chaired by Nguyen Duc Chi. In 2005 Chi was arrested under charge of “frauds and appropriation of others’ assets.” The project thus came to a halt, had its assets frozen and the licence revoked in 2006, and ended up being liquidated in mid-August 2011, under an order by the prime minister.

In April, 2010, however, the Supreme Court overturned the accusations against Chi, and all assets were returned to Chi. Six months later, the prime minister assigned Khanh Hoa’s authorities to establish new legal entity to continue the project to ensure the investor’s benefits and reduce financial damages.

RIT’s former chairman Chi then proposed to have Focus Travel Nha Trang take over the project, a request that was green-lighted by the coastal province’s authorities. Focus Travel Nha Trang was chaired by Nguyen Duc Tan, who is Chi’s brother.


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