Can’t rest when you gotta invest

Today our group visited a large investment firm in Ho Chi Minh City.

Our group was able to sleep in this morning. I was able to relax this morning and eat lots of mangoes for breakfast. We left for our site visit this morning. After a short bus ride through the city, we arrived at one of the city’s highest skyscrapers. There we got onto a packed elevator and filed out to see a glimmering sign that read, VinaCapital.

VinaCapital is one of the most influential asset management groups in Vietnam. As we entered into the office, we were led into a fancy business conference room. In the room were top executives, including the Chief Investor Officer, who were waiting to give us a presentation of the firm. One of the main officers began talking about the firm and its many projects. They explained to us that the firm invests in multiple infrastructure, real estate and numerous other projects. They persuade clients to invest in their firm so that, in turn, that can invest in specific Vietnamese companies. In the end, the investor will hopefully receive a return on their investment if the companies do well. VinaCapital is one of the largest investment firms as they manage 1.8 billion dollars in assets.

The executive then said that although the company is based in Vietnam, they do not trade stocks on the Vietnamese stock markets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Instead, they trade stocks on the London stock exchange because they have a better overall value in that market. The company still has limits to trades and prices because of the interaction of the Vietnamese government and numerous international policies set by the US and Europe. Each executive then discussed the many investment funds and projects that VinaCapital manages. They invested in what seemed like every industry, but they focused on development firms to take advantage of Vietnam’s rapidly increasing economy. One of the executives said that the traditional values of Vietnam are slowing the company’s progress as many locals do not trust large financial establishments. For example, there is private ownership of stock, but many local Vietnamese people take part because of the current lack of trust in firms like VinaCapital. The firm is working to educate locals to understand the importance of taking care of their money in a smart and secure manner. VinaCapital also has a foundation that it manages. The foundation works to support children with heart problems. The company basically utilizes a portion of its profits to donate to local hospitals or charity that help this cause.

Overall, the site visit was exciting. The executive used lots of business lingo that went right over my head, but the visit got me excited to eventually learn the ins and outs of these complicate financial topics. It confirmed my interest to pursue a business degree. Although, I do not plan on working for a company like VinaCapital, I still want to know financial processes like those that VinaCapital manages.

After our site visit, we had lunch at the University of Economics and Finance. There we had another class in Vietnamese where we learned numbers and the bargaining culture of the city market. The class prepared us for our trip to the market tomorrow. We then had another class on the culture of Vietnam which focused on the contemporary culture, religions and ancient customs of the country.

Overall, it was another great day in the shining land of Vietnam.

Until tomorrow!



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