CapitaLand to invest in China, Vietnam

SINGAPORE, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Southeast Asia's largest property developer CapitaLand CATL.SI said on Tuesday it was deploying S$ 1 billion of 1.8 billion ($1.24 billion) in capital raised from a recent rights issue to its businesses in China, Vietnam and the Ascott Group.

It said S$500 million of the one billion will go to its China arm, S$299 million to Vietnam and the remainder to Ascott, a wholly-owned unit that operates serviced apartments. While the rest of the S$1.8 billion will be kept for further investment opportunities, the firm said.

“With the worst of the crisis behind us, and with a solid balance sheet, we are at the start line and ready to embark on the next phase of our growth,” CEO Liew Mun Leong said.

CapitaLand, which is 40 percent owned by Singapore state investor Temasek [TEM.UL], last month posted its first quarterly loss since 2003 due to writedowns on investments and said the outlook for 2009 was uncertain.

It is benefiting from soaring home sales in Singapore and China, its two biggest markets. But office rents across Asia remain weak due to the global financial crisis. (Reporting by Neil Chatterjee; editing by Mariam Karouny)