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Vietnam Property Fnd (VPF)

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Thursday 13 May, 2010

Vietnam Property Fnd

NAV and April 2010 Monthly Up

RNS Number : 7776L
Vietnam Property Fund
13 May 2010



Vietnam Property Fund Limited

"VPF" or "the Company"

NAV and April 2010 Update

Fund Performance

VPF experienced light trading in the month of April with 250,000 shares changing hands and with price levels averaging at around US$0.67. The Golden Week in Asia and other holidays provided a quiet setting for trading.

Investment Climate

The Greek sovereign debt crisis is weighing heavy over all markets, even in the case of Vietnam where the exposure is only of sentiment.  Direct exposure is nil, while indirect exposure remains negligible with most offshore investors having been absent from Vietnam's debt market since 2Q08.  However, with the Greek bailout underway, the markets look set to recoup against a backdrop of flush liquidity and improving macro conditions.

SBV's current tactics for open market operations are stabilising interest rates, but with 7 day injections at 7% and 28 day at 8%, the interbank yield curve is steep.  Overnight money is at 7% and 1 month is over 9%.  Spreads have eased off with an increase on the bid side and SBV is reporting VND20trn (US$1bn) in daily VND trading.  Although rates are high, the liquidity stems from a consensus view that credit rates have spiked and are now drifting lower.  Current borrowing rates are around 16%, however the PM has mentioned that he would like to see the rates down to 14%.  The question remains if stable cash injections at current rates will lower borrowing costs or whether lower OMO rates are needed.  We would not be surprised if SBV cut 28 day money by 50bps, which would also help flatten out the yield curve in money markets.

The recent inflation trend does provide room for easing, even if we are skeptical that the year's target of 7% will be met.  The absolute yoy number is not a confidence builder at 9.2%, but the monthly trend shows declining pricing pressures.  After starting this year with a very heated CPI, and one that was well in excess of normal Tet seasonality, the price momentum has totally vanished and some provinces have even reported negative CPIs over the month.

The trade deficit lingers at over US$1bn per month in spite of higher interest rates, which indicates a qualitative difference in imports and investment.  The 2009 deficit was highly interest rate sensitive and construction focused. So far this year, borrowers have been able to access dollar loans to some degree, but with stable, liquid FX markets, the circumstantial evidence is that disbursed FDI is picking up.  We will not be certain until the official numbers are released, but we suspect that the 2006-7 FDI project backlog is being deployed, particularly in large scale electronics manufacturing.  We are also expecting continued strength in non-oil exports.

Investment Update

April was a busy month for our residential project in Nha Be District of HCMC which we have entered into as a JV partner with a well known foreign developer based in Vietnam.  Three milestones were achieved with the final approval for the debt element of the deal being approved by the Hanoi HQ of a prominent Vietnamese bank, the appointment of an architect to commence the concept design phase and submission of the application to change the investment license into the name of the JV.  Whilst these steps seem small, they all contribute to the development process and keep us on track to break ground in early 4Q2010.  Further steps to be achieved are reissuance of the investment license, the completion of the local partner's obligation to carry out certain infrastructure works on-site and application and approval of the final planning and construction documents.  This exciting project is now in full swing.

In terms of pipeline activity, we are closing in on agreeing final terms for the purchase of a majority interest in a residential development in Hanoi city centre.  The Hanoi residential market is stronger than HCMC due to less supply and a strong sales market.  Suitable projects remain a challenge to originate, so we are working hard to close this deal.  Other pipeline projects include an industrial park project in the south east of HCMC and an interesting beach site on the western coast of Vietnam.  We continue to pursue the residential sector and are in the process of trying to agree favourable terms on several projects in both HCMC and Hanoi.  We also continue to monitor the secondary cities of Vietnam such as Hai Phong, Vung Tau and Can Tho, however, this is a frustrating endeavor as land prices remain ludicrously high for projects with low rents or end sale values.  Further fund deployment is anticipated but it remains essential to exercise caution and complete the full due diligence before entering into real estate projects.

For further information including the full April 2010 Monthly Report please visit - or contact:


Rachel Hill, Dragon Capital Markets (Europe) Limited                    |           Tel: +44 79 71 214 852

Chris Howard, Seymour Pierce Limited                                        |           Tel: +44 20 7107 8000

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