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HCM City fund invests in real estate developers

Update: February, 09/2010 - 10:41

HCM CITY — Sai Gon Asset Management yesterday signed strategic contracts with HCM City-listed firms, NBB Investment Corporation and Construction and Materials Trading Joint Stock Company.

It would support both companies with consultation, project finance, and co-development of real estate projects, SAM chairman and CEO Louis Nguyen said.

SAM's real estate-focused fund, VPH, will become a strategic investor with a 15 per cent stake in both companies.

"NBB is a leading property developer and infrastructure contractor with large land holding of over 150 ha in developing areas," Nguyen said, adding this company recently paid a 14 per cent cash dividend and acquired a mining company.

"CNT is one of Viet Nam's largest suppliers of building materials as well as a major real estate developer and contractor," Henrik Vu, SAM's director of real estate investment, said.

SAM would launch a new "Smart Money" fund by March at the latest, said the company.

The fund will be a limited partnership and will focus its investment in real estate projects, private pre-IPO companies, as well as listed companies based in Viet Nam. It will seek to create a unique investment model by grouping the most influential investors and industry experts in Viet Nam, with international counterparts into one platform of resourceful limited partners.

"The fund is expected to have US$100 million in value by the launch of which foreign capital will make up 49 per cent," said Nguyen Toan from the fund's Investors and Media Relations Department.

It will also be a close-end fund and will last for 5 to 7 years, Toan said.

The fund will be a result of the collaboration between SAM and RNG Invest, an investment arm of the Corporation of Refrigeration, Electricals and Engineering. Last year, the company planned to collaborate with RNG Invest to launch a new offshore fund to invest in opportunities within the fast recovering local economy.

"Similar to South Korea or Taiwan earlier, the next few years are expected to be the best time for investment in pre-IPO opportunities and undervalued assets in Viet Nam," said Louis Nguyen, SAM's chairman and CEO.

He said that investment opportunities are abound as the economy has recovered faster than most other countries and by having industry experts as investors, it will be conducive to higher yield investments.

LCF Rothschild, a financial institution that tracks emerging investment funds around the world, ranked VPH as the No1 performing Viet Nam-focused real estate fund last year when VPH's net asset value increased 9.9 per cent.

SAM also manages the equity-focused Viet Nam Equity Holding (VEH) fund and both funds are listed on German bourses. — VNS

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