We slept in until 9 this morning, a pleasant break from the early days we have had so far. When we arrived at VinaCapital, we had time for a quick 15 minute coffee break. The coffee in Vietnam is extremely strong and has a certain thickness to it, different from our water consistency coffee.
VinaCapital is an asset management firm based in Ho Chi Minh City, specializing in pairing investors with various industries in Vietnam. they manage $1.8 billion in capital. Some of the industries include infrastructure (although this is difficult since returns on investment stretch for years), real estate, food services, and manufacturing. Although the funds from VinaCapital are traded on the Vietnamese stock exchange, some of these funds do not yield huge ROI’s because there is little liquidity in them.
- The speakers from VinaCapital were smart and skilled in giving us detailed summaries and explanations of the business. Some things I learned from their presentation include:many investors choose to do their legal dealings offshore, in places like the BVI’s and the Cayman islands, so they do not have to deal with the government in Vietnam
- Vietnam is about the size of New Mexico in square miles, and its economy is around the size of Kentucky
- In order to gain the required permits to buy land and set up a business in Vietnam, foreign investors must either buy the land from another foreign investor who is already leasing the land (land can only be leased, not bought, for 50 years buy foreign investors) or a person must develop good relationships with important government officials, usually done with bribery
- The communist government is working to find a way to tax offshore investors who do their legal papers in places like the BVI’s and the Cayman Islands