Funds seek opportunities in Vietnam

October 21, 2010 | 14:15
HCM CITY - To meet foreign investment demand, Vietnam should develop new strategies to expand the private sector to meet infrastructure and logistics challenges, speakers said at a conference held in Ho Chi Minh City this week.

More than 500 investors and representatives from investment funds and securities companies met at the three-day conference organised by the US-based Thunderbird University's Global Private Equity Centre and the Vietnam Chamber Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in Ho Chi Minh City.

"Beginning in 2011, Southeast Asia will witness strong development in private investment funds," said Etienne Chenevier, Asia director of the Singapore-based City Star Private Equity.

Global investment funds are looking for potential markets and want to work closely with private investors in emerging markets such as Vietnam.

"New equity will focus on real estate and information technology. Banking and financial organisations will play an important role in regulating the activities of private equity in these markets," he added.

"More transparent regulations should be created to restrict monopolies and encourage other sectors to join the national economy via healthy competition," said Le Song Lai, vice general director of the State Capital Investment Corporation.

"It would attract strategic investors and speed up the equitisation process," he added.

Although State-owned enterprises contribute 40 per cent of GDP and 55.4 per cent of the state budget, only 44.4 per cent of these enterprises are financially healthy. Many of them benefit from their monopoly advantage.

"Continued slow equitisation of state companies will delay capital deployment for the private sector, which it needs to expand," said Fred Burke, managing partner at law firm Baker& McKenzie.

Also discussed during the conference were Southeast Asian private-equity investment regulatory frameworks, inter-regional and outbound investments, and business opportunities in energy, agribusiness and infrastructure.


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