We finally got to sleep in today, which was much needed after our really long weekend trips. We left for VinaCapital at around 9:45 am. I met with my group on the bus to discuss some questions before we were in front of the company’s employees. We had done a lot of research prior to this trip, so we felt prepared to ask informed questions while on the site visit. We got there a little earlier than planned, so we explored the city for around 15 minutes. It was really unique to see the shops like Rolex, Chanel, and Cartier stores in this shiny building complex because when we walked inside we realized that all these stores were just being built. This was yet another obvious sign of the development of this country, because not only was the infrastructure being built, but it was these expensive stores that only wealthy people could afford. So, wealth must be apparent in the City.
We made it to VinaCapital which is one of the largest asset management groups in Vietnam. This firm is a management and real estate development group who try to create superior returns for investors by using their experience to identify opportunities and trends in the economy of Vietnam. The company has fund managers who watch the markets every day and are able to divest funds and invest funds for companies. VinaCapital doesn’t trade on the Vietnamese stock exchange, they trade on the London Stock Exchange with many other large companies. There aren’t really limits to trades or share prices that I understand, but VinaCapital is a fairly safe firm and they stay away from long-term risky investments. However, there are limits that VinaCapital employees are subjected to. Such as they cannot accept gifts that are over $250 from companies and they cannot personally trade a stock that the company will trade within the next few days. Yes, there is private ownership of stock in Vietnam. Banks need to be owned by 30% private ownership. People are allowed to privately own stock in Vietnam, bu like everything else, it is taxed by the government.
VinaCapital Group and VinaCapital Foundation are related because VinaCapital Group provides all the administrative overhead costs to the foundation as their anchor donor. They offer strong support, mainly financial to the Foundation whose purpose is to empower the children and youth of Vietnam by providing opportunities for growth through health and educational programs.
We returned to UEF for lunch after our site visit. We had a nice buffet of many foods to eat. My favorite was the noodle wrapped and fried shrimp. Next, we had another Vietnamese language class, but this time on numbers and market phrases used for bargaining. We learned how to say “too expensive,” “Will you take less,” and more importantly we learned how to understand prices. We also had our final Vietnamese history and culture class. We learned about contemporary society in Vietnam, religion in the country and art as well. There was so much to talk about that we got cut short, but I was really happy we got to learn what we learned with our short time with the professor. This trip is truly flying by. Ho Chi Minh’s birthday is Friday and it is apparently a very large celebration so we are all really looking forward to that!