June 5, 2018 / 8:16 AM / 10 months ago

U.S. developer Simon Property, Siam Piwat to invest $313 mln in Thailand

BANGKOK, June 5 (Reuters) - U.S. mall operator Simon Property Group Inc and Thai retailer Siam Piwat Group will invest 10 billion baht ($313.28 million) in three retail projects to tap into the country’s booming tourism industry, the companies said on Tuesday.

As part of a joint venture, the firms will first launch three luxury retail outlets in Thailand.

The companies did not disclose the structure of the joint venture.

The first retail outlet will have gross leasable area of 50,000 square meter, and is slated to be launched in Bangkok by October 2019, targetting locals and the country’s growing tourism sector, the statement added.

This is Simon Property’s fourth investment in Asia after Korea, Malaysia and Japan.

The tourism sector contributes about 12 percent of Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, making it one of the most important drivers of growth as Thailand has lagged regional peers since the army took power in 2014.

The venture is the latest investment that targets the country’s growing tourism industry. In April, local developer, Central Pattana Pcl announced a 5 billion baht retail outlet near the main airport, Suvarnabhumi. Thailand expects a record 37.55 million tourists to spend 2.1 trillion baht this year. ($1 = 31.9200 baht) (Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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