International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank, has announced it will pour around $43.4 million into Nam Long Group (HSX:NLG) in the form of bonds, despite the Vietnamese government applying strict management on the bond market.
|Overview of Waterpoint township in Ben Luc district, Long An province |
Talking about the move, Nam Long chairman Nguyen Xuan Quang said that the group has changed a lot in terms of corporate governance and culture, adapting and overcoming many standards and challenges to cooperate with large-scale partners. “The change in management in terms of working culture is not easy, especially when Vietnam is trained in a very different way from the world. Teamwork skills are often not strong and compliance culture is not at a high standard,” Quang said.
But with all its efforts, Nam Long has connected and cooperated with many top-class international partners, and kept their trust.
Nam Long’s portfolios have been acknowledged with international names such as Hankyu Hanshin, Nishi Nippon Railroad, Keppel Land, and Mekong Capital all involved as long-term partners.
Moreover, some of Nam Long’s independent outside directors are general directors of investment funds, auditing companies, and large real estate companies with international management experience.
“These are some of the many reasons why Nam Long attracts the attention of big investors and funds,” Quang said.
Nam Long, with 30 years of experience, owns many subsidiaries in charge of each step and occupies the full strength of developing product lines. To be more proactive in investment capital sources, Nam Long utilises fewer loans but mainly mobilises funds through cooperation with international partners from the United States, Japan, and Singapore.
This is not the first injection of cash from IFC into Nam Long. Eight years ago, IFC also funded the group when its core product was affordable housing.
Although Vietnam’s real estate market has had many fluctuations, Nam Long remains in the affordable housing game as seen in its 10-year development strategy for this decade, in addition to developing high-end product lines and integrated township.
From the point of view of international investors, affordable housing is always in need and is one of the more sustainable products of any real estate market. Building an affordable house, meanwhile, can be more challenging than high-end and premium housing because it requires efficiency in each step of value chain management.
Like many large domestic and overseas corporations and enterprises, Nam Long applies environmental, social, and governance elements in its business operations. IFC, a financial institution that cares about social issues in addition to supporting capital for businesses, has found that Nam Long has the goodwill to carry out these sustainable development activities.
Tran Xuan Ngoc, general director of Nam Long Group, said that IFC’s fresh investment will help it improve its capacity to provide more housing for the growing middle-income population in Vietnam.
“In addition, more than 5,000 apartments for the Waterpoint phase 2 project, built according to IFC’s green building standards, will help solve the severe housing shortage in Vietnam in a sustainable way,” Ngoc said.
The IFC investment is expected to create 1,500 jobs and create a satellite city that provides housing for over 50,000 people.