American billionaire’s abandoned child returns to Vietnam


VietNamNet Bridge - Millionaire Nguyen Be Lory, an illegitimate child of late US billionaire Larry Hillblom and his mother, Nguyen Thi Be, have returned to their hometown in Binh Thuan province to visit their family after 13 years in the US. Nguyen Be Lory and his mother in 1998. Nguyen Be Lory, 18, owns assets worth around $100 million from his unofficial father - billionaire Larry Hillblom. However, Lory is a student so he will manage the assets when he is 21. Lory has returned to Vietnam with his mother, his uterine brothers and his manager to visit his maternal grandfather. The family went to Con Dao Island, where Brangelina and their six kids stayed in late 2011. Lory said that he had not known about Con Dao until the Brangelina family were there. He wanted to discover the island. The millionaire boy said that he would return to Con Dao. The family went back to HCM City and then to Phan Thiet, where billionaire Harry Hillblom invested tens of million USD to build the Novotel … [Read more...]

Ocean Dune golf members up in arms over proposed tear down

>> Golf course land use sparks row  >> Ocean Dunes golf course to become urban area  >> Vina Properties takes over Novotel Phan Thiet

The rezoning of Ocean Dunes golf course in south-central province Binh Thuan's Phan Thiet city as an urban area has stirred controversy, as stakeholders cannot reach a consensus. In early March 2014, to stop continuous losses it has sustained for the past 20 years, Rang Dong Group, the owner of Ocean Dunes, issued a message to its members that the golf course would close early this month. The message included plans to resolve membership fees and benefits. Accordingly, the group proposed Ocean Dunes members could transfer their memberships to Golf Sea Links, part of the Sea Links City, managed by Rang Dong. All member services would be entirely inherited by the course. In cases the members having both Ocean Dunes and Golf Sea Links they can combine card validity or transfer one card to other people without paying transfer fees. The group is openly negotiating with Ocean Dunes members to ensure their best interests. Some members, however, are not satisfied with … [Read more...]

Ocean Dunes golfers seek compensation

Van Nam The firm has plans to spend VND4 trillion developing the golf course into a residential area. Therefore, it has closed the golf course since April 1. Around 40 Ocean Dunes members gathered in HCMC last week to draft a formal request for compensation and will pass it to the Government Office, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Binh Thuan Province's government. Among 220 members of Ocean Dunes, around 50 have agreed on their transfers to Sealinks golf course, also developed by Rang Dong, in Mui Ne area. The remaining members insisted the company either maintain Ocean Dunes golf course or make compensation equivalent to the full value of their membership cards. In November 2013, Phan Thiet City-based Rang Dong Company acquired the 62-hectare Ocean Dunes golf course for US$20 million. Last month, it won approval from the provincial government to convert the place into a residential area. On March 1, Rang Dong informed the golfers that the course … [Read more...]

Golf course land use sparks row

The redefinition of the land used by the Ocean Dunes golf course for residential development has sparked controversy

The proposed shift to turn the premium golf course Ocean Dunes Golf Club in the south-central coastal city of Phan Thiet into a residential development has sparked controversy. In early March, Rang Dong Group, headquartered in the south-central coastal province of Binh Thuan and also the new owner of Ocean Dunes Golf Club, received the Binh Thuan Provincial People's Committee's permission to change the 18-hole golf course - one of the first in Vietnam - into a residential township development. Le Tien Phuong, Chairman of the Binh Thuan Provincial People's Committee said there was consensus on the decision, "it proposed that the provincial party committee consider the case. We'll undertake the necessary procedures, including seeking approval from the prime minister." The provincial authorities said the ineffectiveness of the Ocean Dunes course was a key reason behind the move, citing the fact that in ten years of operation during 2004-2014 it had incurred cumulative losses … [Read more...]

Ocean Dunes golf course to become urban area

According to Le Tien Phuong, chairman of the Binh Thuan People's Committee, local authorities have got the thumbs-up to make the move.  The committee will take the necessary steps to submit a final plan to the prime minister for approval.

The Binh Thuan People's Committee has just approved in principle to transform the existing Ocean Dunes Golf Club into an urban development area. Located in Phan Thiet province and operational since 1997, Ocean Dunes is operating at a heavy loss and can no longer bear the expense. Nguyen Van Dong, chairman of the Rang Dong Group - the investor in the project - said that when the proposal is finally approved, the group will invest into a multi-function urban area named Blue Sea Street. What an estimated investment capital of around VND3 trillion ($142.8 million), a third of the investment will be put into infrastructure such as roads, power and water, drainage, parks, and others. Dong said the changing function of the project will surely increase the efficiency of the land and an estimated VND1 trillion ($47.6 million) in land taxes will go toward the provincial budget. Dong also said that apart from commercial housing, the investor would develop Blue Sea Street into a … [Read more...]

Teed Off (04-11-2012)

with Robert Bicknell OK, let me first get the more obvious news out of the way… I have resigned from SACOM Tuyen Lam JSC and have accepted the GM position for both Dalat Palace and Ocean Dunes golf courses. There were a lot of reasons for this move, but I guess the main one is that, during my 20 years managing golf courses in Viet Nam, have always enjoyed both of these clubs and wanted to work there. When the opportunity arose, I took it. The Rose Garden GC at SACOM Tuyen Lam is a wonderful project and I anticipate they will be very successful. I have no ill feelings with them or the chairman, Mr Trac, but as I have only a few years left before mandatory retirement, I wanted to tick off another entry on my bucket list. … [Read more...]

A natural destination


There are more and more golf courses in Vietnam, but not many keep the natural charms of their surroundings. Designed by Nick Faldo, Ocean Dunes Golf Course in Phan Thiet is among favorite natural destinations for golf lovers. … [Read more...]

Vietnamese illegitimate son of US billionaire visits homeland 


The illegitimate Vietnamese son of a controversial US billionaire just finished a secret visit to Vietnam with his mother and two half-brothers. Nguyen Be Lory, the 18-year-old heir to around US$50 million from the fortune of late DHL founder and owner Larry Hillbolm Jr., visited his mother's hometown in Binh Thuan Province in south central Vietnam, where his out-of-wedlock father established the now famous Novotel hotel and the 18-hole Ocean Dunes Golf Course 20 years ago. News website VnExpress on Tuesday said the visit was Lory's first after 13 years in the US. Lory left Vietnam when he was 4. He and his family also visited Con Dao island as Lory was curious about the place Brad Pitt and Angelina went with their six children late last year. The teenager showed interest in a villa on sale for around $2 million on the island, and said he would come back soon, VnExpress reported. As the boy is still a student, his inheritance has been invested by his money managers in businesses … [Read more...]

Four young golf players to join Faldo Series Asia


VietNamNet Bridge - The National Young Golf Championships 2011 closed on August 7, with six championships for golfers of all age groups and the top four players are selected for the finale of Faldo Series Asia in China. The tournament attracted 52 players, competing in six groups of age like the Faldo Series Asia tournament: men's and women's U-21, U-16, U-12 categories. … [Read more...]

Playing golf at night

BTO - Recently, Ocean Dunes Golf Club- Phan Thiet has decided to open classes to teach golf playing and support services which meets demands of entertainment, relaxation of golfers in the evening. The Club announced this information in the evening of November 23rd with their hope to introduce golf to everyone. Mr Nguyen Van Huy, manager of the golf course said that 2 golf classes have been opened in early November with more than 20 learners, mostly young businessmen and those who like golf. Besides the study course with the fee of VND 2 million per 2-month course for each person, there are also practice sessions of at night, which facilitates the busy people. … [Read more...]

National swimming event to kick off in Da Nang

About 100 swimmers from 12 teams will be competing in five men's and women's events at the 38th National Marathon Swimming Championships (Vinashin Cup) on the Han river in Da Nang next week. Dinh Viet Hung, general secretary of Viet Nam Aquatic Sports Association, said this is the first time swimmers will wear floats. This is the fourth time the Cup has been sponsored by Vinashin. U-19 team prepares for ASEAN Football Federation 2010 The U-19 national team are currently stationed at the Viet Nam Youth Football Training Centre in Ha Noi ahead of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) U-19 Youth Championship in HCM City from July 24-30. Twenty-seven young players will train here until July 14 before heading to Thanh Long Sports Centre in HCM City for further practice. The team are scheduled to play several friendlies against the U-21 team and a number of local football clubs. Viet Nam will take on Thailand in the opening match, followed by South Korea, and Australia. Bac Ninh wins … [Read more...]

Vietnam to host Faldo golf qualifier


The qualifying round for the Faldo Series Asia (FSA) will take place at the Ocean Dunes golf course in the central province of Binh Thuan from August 6-8. The tournament will attract nearly 50 golfers and the six winners will go through to the final round, which will be held in China in March, according to the Vietnam Golf Association (VGA). The final round will include the winning golfers from the 16 FSA tournaments held in 12 countries across the world. Established by Nick Faldo, a US golfer and winner of six well-known championships in the UK, the Faldo Golf Championship is for amateur golfers in Asia , from the age of 12 to 21. The VGA has also organised a Junior Vietnamese Championship to increase the competitive experience of young players nationwide. … [Read more...]

Vietnam to host regional golf tournament

The qualifying round of the 2009 Faldo Series Asia is taking place at the Ocean Dunes golf course in Phan Thiet City of central Binh Thuan province, on August 8-9. The championships, founded by golfer Nick Faldo, who won six champion titles at senior UK golf tournaments, has been designed for Asian amateur golfers aged between 12 and 21. The Faldo Series Asia 2009-2010 competition will include 15 tournaments in 12 different countries. A representative from the Vietnamese Golf Association says that this is the second time Vietnam has hosted the tournament, where 41 local golfers are competing over four legs to qualify for the finals in China later this year. The first time the country hosted the event was 2008. Besides seeking the best golfers for the finals, Vietnam will hold a tournament for mixed teams, creating an opportunity for local golfers to get more experience. Started in 1994, Ocean Dunes has been selected by prestigious US magazine Golf Digest as one of the two … [Read more...]

Phan Thiet City to Become a Major Tourist Hub in 2010

Ocean Dunes Golf Club in Phan Thiet

The development of Phan Thiet city into a big urban area by 2010 is one among many feasible projects that central southern Binh Thuan province will be able to do. Binh Thuan has been becoming an attractive destination for investors as it is tallying up its advantages like open and stable policies, good infrastructure and desirable natural resources. In its master strategy for tourism development from now to 2010, Binh Thuan is targeted to give priorities to investors or investment projects to build luxury resort sites, ecological resorts, trade centres, sea sports and recreational centres. Special tourism potential Endowed by nature with a long coast, white sand and picturesque blue sea water, the tourism sector is considered to be one of the most potential fields of Binh Thuan. Particularly, weather conditions here are warm with sun all year around; beaches are clean and beautiful and the transport system is convenient. Some places like Phan Thiet, Ham Tan, Tuy Phong have huge … [Read more...]

Sea Links voted Vietnam’s most challenging golf course 2008

Sea Links won the award because of the difficult challenges faced by golfers at the new course in Phan Thiet in the central province of Binh Thuan. The organizers also awarded "Vietnam's Best Golf course 2008" to Dalat Palace Golf Club in the central resort city of Dalat; "Vietnam's Most Beautiful Natural Landscape 2008" to Kings Island Golf; "Vietnam's Golf Course with Best Services 2008" to Chi Linh Star Golf & Country Club; "Vietnam's Most Beautiful Designed Golf Course 2008" to Van Tri Golf Club; and "Vietnam's Most Environment-friendly Golf Course 2008" to Long Thanh Golf & Country Club. Awards for specific golf holes went to Vietnam Golf & Country Club for "Vietnam's Golf Course with the Most Beautiful Par 3 in 2008 for Hole 8"; Kings Island Golf scooped the "Vietnam's Golf Course with the Most Beautiful Par 5 for Hole 16" on the mountain-view golf course; and Tam Dao Golf Resort and Ocean Dunes Golf Course won "Vietnam's Golf Course with Most Beautiful Par 4 in … [Read more...]

Vietnam to host Asian Faldo golf tourney for first time

The 6th round of the Asian Faldo Golf Championship 2008 will tee off at the Ocean Dunes golf course in Phan Thiet, southern Binh Thuan province on September 27. The tournament is devoted to amateur golfers aged between 11 and 21 in Asia. This is the first time Vietnam hosts the tournament's leg which is seen as a valuable chance for young golfers from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos to accumulate experiences. Initiated by American golfer Nick Faldo who once won six championships at tourneys in the United Kingdom, the Faldo Golf Championship includes 12 qualifying rounds held in Asian countries. Six golfers recording the best results at the two-day event will compete in the final round scheduled to take place in China in March 2009. Ocean Dunes is one of the two best designed golf courses in Vietnam named by the US well-known magazine Golf Digest. Source: VOV … [Read more...]

Strong tourism investment wave


With the building of the Evason Hideaways resort in Con Dao valued at VND 320 billion, the Indochina Capital Group has just shaken hands with Danao International Holdings Groups, starting a predicted wave of an investment the Vietnam tourist industry. In late March 2007, Indochina Capital officially became a shareholder in the Danao Group. Unlike other real-estate investors, it is likely that the co-operation of these two big groups will not be limited real-estate but also shows the agreement of the two parties to prepare for the coming growth in tourism. Right after investing into Vietnam, Danao focused clearly on hotel-building projects. The investor also showed its unique character by restoring existing projects that had appeared in the past. In the beginning of 1990, Danao invested into restoring a golf course in Da Lat which had been built since 1920s to serve King Bao Dai. With this pioneer in spirit, the Dalat-based Golf Course rapidly became one of the national leading golf … [Read more...]

Upstaged NATO searches for ‘360-degree’ response to Russia


NATO soldiers attend a NATO military exercise at Raposa beach, near Setubal. The brass band played, the flags waved and Western generals delivered speeches brimming with resolve as NATO began big war games in the central Mediterranean this week. But the military display seemed faintly unreal while Russian warplanes were bombing Syrian rebels a few hundred kilometers (miles) to the east in a coordinated action with President Bashar al-Assad's armed forces and Iran's Revolutionary Guards. NATO, which waged an air campaign to help Libyan rebels oust Muammar Gaddafi, then left that country to descend into anarchy, is not a player in Syria and is watching uncomfortably as its former Cold War adversary Russia widens its role there. The speed and scope of Moscow's intervention in Syria's four-year-old civil war, coming after Russia's seizure of Crimea and support for pro-Kremlin rebels in eastern Ukraine last year, wrong-footed the U.S.-led alliance and has heightened soul-searching about … [Read more...]

First Data Service JV to Open Early 2008

The Global Data Service Joint Stock Company, a joint venture between VNPT and Japan's NTT Communications Group (NTT Com), will start operation in January 2008, state media said.

NTT Com will hold a 40 per cent stake of the US$8 million JV while the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) will own the remaining 60 per cent share. This is the first JV in data services but the second in the information technology and communication sector since Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization one year ago with the first one established between VNPT and Germany's DHL Worldwide Express. The new JV plans to set up a data center in Hanoi in mid 2008 and another in HCM City in early 2009 to provide such services. The establishment of the two joint ventures just in the first year of Vietnam's WTO membership has proved foreign investors' increasing interest in the country's post and telecommunication and IT sectors, said Phan Tam, Vice Head of the Department of International Cooperation under the Ministry of Information and Communication. A dozen of major telecom groups in the world such as Vodafone, Comvik, Telenor, NTT DoCoMo and Tata have showed their … [Read more...]