With strong GDP growth, a stable macroeconomic environment, increasing exports, and record levels of foreign direct investment, it is easy to see why Vietnam is considered among the world’s most exciting markets. Half of the population of 95 million is under age 35, and an expanding middle class has created a compelling domestic consumption story that has attracted the attention of companies from around the globe.
VOF gives investors access to a range of carefully selected investments in the listed and private companies that are participating in, benefitting from, and driving the sustainable growth Vietnam is experiencing today.
Latest commentary from our fund manager
November: Trade War Worries Linger; VOF continuation vote passed
After what was a very weak market in October, the market recovered in November with the VN Index up 1.4% in USD terms, despite continued worries about the US-China trade war. The fund’s net asset value (NAV) per share declined 4.2%, and its discount rate narrowed to 14.9%. Following the interim dividend of 5.5 US cents per share paid in April 2018, the fund paid a second dividend of 5.5 US cents per share in respect of the year ended 30 June 2018 at the end of November 2018. These two dividends in total represent just over 2% of the NAV per share as of November 2018.
The fund’s NAV declined with the listed component lagging mainly due to our largest holding, Hoa Phat Group (HPG) dropping 17.5% during the month. One of HPG’s main shareholders announced that it would sell down its stake from 2.31% to 1.37%, which impacted the price both from the selling itself and retail investors’ attempts to “front-run” this shareholder given that one of its representative who sits on the board and has to announce to the market before selling. However, after the month’s end, HPG held an analyst meeting with the CEO was more upbeat and even indicated that he might personally buy back the company’s shares – something he has done in the past. Though operating in a cyclical industry, the stock’s current valuation remains relatively attractive, trading at half the multiple of the market’s, with expected earnings growth for 2019 is at approximately 16%.