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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Is Jack Ma buying Otres Beach?

Otres Beach has not seen any large resorts built, so far. SUPPLIED
Some of the prime beachfront property that is rumoured to be bought by Alibaba boss Jack Ma. Supplied

A view from above of the land on Otres Beach that is rumoured to be sold to Jack Ma. Googlemap

Is Jack Ma buying Otres Beach?

Khmer Times | 7 June 2017

In recent weeks, rumours have been circulating in the real estate community of Sihanoukville about a major coastal land sale at Otres Beach to a large Chinese company looking to develop a resort there

These rumours already appear to be having a speculative effect on the land prices in surrounding areas.   

Sihanoukville has become an investment target for both major infrastructural and residential projects by both local and international funders, and in particular the Chinese. 

Chinese investors are being attracted to the province by industrial incentives, the ease of gambling related permits and a fast rising tourism market. 

Brad King, the Managing Director at Cambodia Real Estate, an agency primarily focussed on land and landed properties in Sihanoukville, said: “I met with other local real estate agents in the area last week and several of those agents mentioned that a subsidiary company of Jack Ma’s Alibaba currently has an offer under consideration for the majority of land facing onto Otres Beach.”

Although this offer or any final transaction has not been officially announced or verified, Mr. King noted that in the last two weeks land prices on the second road back from Otres beach have climbed to about $150 per square metre in response to the news. 

According to Mr. King, prior to the rumours about the Alibaba offer on the Otres Beach plot, land in this area was averaging $350 per square metre. Now, says Mr. King, that same land has risen to $500 per square metre as a listed price as local landowners speculate the increase in value with the news of a major Chinese development coming nearby. 

A representative of Alibaba declined to comment on the topic when contacted by email, calling it “market rumours”.

A private real estate owner and broker in Sihanoukville who wished to remain anonymous said he could not verify whether Alibaba was in the process of buying land at Otres Beach. 

However, he confirmed there had been a recent investment in land in the Otres area totalling about 300 hectares in its entirety by a Chinese company called JetStar and that it will be developed into a residential project.

Den Sakal, the CEO of Universal Real Estate, a Sihanoukville-based brokerage, said he has also heard that a major Chinese company had recently entered the market, investing in a large plot of land along Otres Beach and some more land inside the city. 

However, Mr. Den could not confirm any link to Alibaba, nor was he aware of the Chinese investor’s development plans.  

Mr. Den added that this Chinese investor entered the area in May this year after Khmer New Year and since then land prices around the project plot had risen very quickly. 

In fact, prime land prices on the Otres Beach front had risen as high as $1,300 per square metre in some cases, Mr. Den said, buoyed by the confidence of a major Chinese development underway. 

However, Mr. Den also noted that land transactions in the Otres area has not increased alongside the price increases. The rising prices were driven only by local landowner speculation and it was unclear whether the sales prices will reach these heights, added Mr. Den. 

He suggested that this type of speculation would create a bubble in the market only suitable for Chinese buyers willing to pay exorbitant prices – and that will freeze out other investors interested in the area, both local and international.


  1. Anonymous12:40 AM

    As an educated Khmer/Cambodian citizen, I would not allow to the foreigners from China or Vietnam to buy the lands by the beach in Cambodia because they (foreigners) will do a lot of damages to our natural beaches. They don't care about our motherland and beaches. Thank you for posting the article. The land is supposed to belong to the local and the local commune chiefs who work and server the people in that area for economic development and for benefits for the local Cambodian people living that area. The real estate agents (whoever they area, but they are uneducated and corrupted) are really a bunch of corrupted crooks.

    Khmer Yeurng

    1. Anonymous10:52 AM

      Khmer will be kicked around like the Palestinian.

    2. Anonymous3:30 PM

      10:52 AM

      Once the CNRP forms its government, Yuon will
      be kicked around and kicked out of Cambodia !!!