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Thai developer aims for rich foreigners with investment vacation home pitch

Buoyed by foreign interest in its Thai property projects amid burgeoning tourist arrivals, Thai property developer Sansiri is expanding internationally with its sale pitch of a vacation home that will also attract rental yields.

"(Rental) yield is quite high at 5-8 percent, which is attracting investors from Singapore, Hong Kong and mainland China. In a way, our property prices (in Thailand) are quite low compared to the rest of the region," said the company's CEO and co-founder, Apichart Chutrakul.

Sansiri is aiming to sell THB7,500 million ($212 million) of property to foreign buyers this year, a 40 percent increase over THB5,400 million ($153 million) last year. In 2016, foreign sales grew 55 percent from a year ago. Some 84 percent of its foreign buyers last year were Asians from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, mainland China and Taiwan, the company said in an announcement in January.

This year, the Thai developer is planning to launch 19 projects worth THB41,200 million ($1.2 billion). Of these, nine will be launched at roadshows in Asia.

Tourism into Thailand is a standout amid stuttering growth, spurring some developers to target foreign property buyers.
Peter Charlesworth | LightRocket | Getty Images
Tourism into Thailand is a standout amid stuttering growth, spurring some developers to target foreign property buyers.

Apichart said the company is looking to target potential buyers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. It opened its first international office in Singapore on Monday.

"They invest their spare cash so they get some returns and sometimes if they want to go on vacation, they can use it as a vacation home," he said.

The property developer's sales pitch comes against a backdrop of stuttering growth in Southeast Asia's second largest economy since a 2014 military coup.

Last year, the Thai economy logged a growth rate of 3.2 percent, up from 2.9 percent in 2015 but below the junta's target of 3.7 percent.

The tourism industry, however, has been a standout in the sluggish climate as the Land of Smiles welcomed a record 32.6 million tourists last year, up 9 percent from 2015, bringing in THB1.64 trillion baht ($45 billion) worth of business, a 13 percent rise from 2015, according to data released by the Tourism Ministry, Reuters reported in January. A third of the tourists came from China.

The stellar performance came despite the mourning period for Thailand's late king, cases of the Zika virus and a crackdown on some low budget Chinese tours.

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