Nam Long looks for a bigger share

April 09, 2013 | 15:51
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Vietnamese property developer Nam Long is banking on its newly-listed shares becoming blue chip items of desire.

Ehome 4

The Ho Chi Minh City-based group listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange on April 8 with 95.5 million shares, coded NLG, amid gloomy stock and property markets. The starting price is VND27,000 ($1.3).

Pham Ngoc Bich, corporate client director at Saigon Securities Inc - consultant for Nam Long in this listing, said the price was based on three calculation methods currently used widely in Vietnam, and a combination of the three methods gave a result of more than VND36,000 ($1.73), or 25 per cent higher than the starting price.

“However, Nam Long offers this lower price to create good opportunities for investors,” said Bich.

Asked why Nam Long listed during such as unfavourable period, its chief operating officer Nguyen Vinh Tran said it was already part of its development strategy with a timeline previously set. “We have confidence in our business strategy and our core market segments.”

He said Nam Long would continue to focus on its core business segments – land development and economy-class Ehome apartment projects, which have been instrumental to the company’s 20-year history of success.

Tran said Ho Chi Minh City needed around 70,000 economy-class flats per year but his firm could supply just 2,000. “This means there is lots of room in this segment.”

Nam Long chairman Nguyen Xuan Quang said his company felt the stock market and property markets have bottomed out.

Its three strategic investors are Nam Viet, which is fully owned by Goldman Sachs, Malaysian investment fund ASPL, and Mekong Capital-managed VAF Fund. They are holding almost 35 per cent of Nam Long. Tran said his firm was in the market for more strategic investors.

Nam Long chief investment officer Tran Quy Hung said its loan debts were equal to one-fifth of its total assets and half of its own capital.

Chairman Quang said just 5 per cent of Nam Long’s finished apartments have not been sold, not counting unfinished flats, lower than the rates of other real estate companies.

Nam Long launched in 2012 the sales of two projects – Ehome 3 in Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Tan District and Ehome 4 on the Ho Chi Minh City-Binh Duong province border. This year will see Ehome 5, 6 and 7 go on sale, while next year will be for Ehome 8 and 9. Ehome 10 will be up for sales in 2015. Tran said Nam Long had plans to provide 14,000 Ehome flats over the next five years, with price equal to $25,000 -- $60,000 each.

By Tuong Thuy

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