In an interview by TheLEADER, Kang Moon Kyung, General Director of Mirae Asset Securities (Vietnam), said that effort to divest State capital in large enterprises is one of the factors that attract foreign investors, including Korean ones.
Investment funds managed by Mirae Asset, KITMC, and FIDES have just increased their investment in Vietnam. How should this be explained?
Kang Moon Kyung: Vietnam’s stock market has experienced a growth period which is regarded to be the strongest among the Southeast Asian stock markets last year. The indexes of VNIndex is now higher than the historical peak of the past decade.
Most importantly, Vietnam's GDP growth is still high compared to the whole region. In the first quarter of 2018, GDP impressively grew by 7.38%, the highest in the past ten years.
Hence, more and more foreign capital flows have been poured into Vietnam in answer to this phenomenal growth. It is the result of positive macroeconomic changes and government policies. Besides, the successful efforts of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to divest State’s capital should also be taken into account.
What about individual investors? Do they care about stocks of Vietnamese companies and what kinds of companies are they interested in?
Kang Moon Kyung: Compared to ten years ago, Vietnam’s stock market has improved in both the quantity and quality of listed companies.
Individual investors mainly focused on high-growth sectors such as food, consumer goods, banking, construction materials and supporting industries.
However, individual investors are still short-term and medium-term. We should pay attention to the companies whose growth is stable and remains in the VN30. They attract investors because of clear financial statements, satisfactory business performance and, most importantly, the consistent liquidity of stocks.
If a listed company wants to attract foreign capital, first and foremost, the financial statements must be clear and transparent, using reputable auditors and be open to investors. These factors help foster the belief for foreign investors.
Recently, Mirae Asset Global announced the plans to set up an asset management joint venture with SCIC. Are its objectives the companies from which SCIC wants to divest the capital?
Kang Moon Kyung: Having established the joint venture, Mirae Asset Global will operate in Vietnam as a legal entity, hence being able to take full advantage of policies for legal entities and aiming at diversifying the investment portfolios.
SCIC has succeeded in divesting such companies as Vinamilk. We hope that establishing a joint venture with SCIC will help share experiences and strategies on divestment as well as continue to successfully divest the enterprises in the future.
Recently, many SOEs have made billions of dollars by selling shares. In your opinion, why can these companies attract such a large amount of money?
Kang Moon Kyung: We are talking about the sale of the existing capital of listed companies and initial public offerings (IPOs). In Vietnam, whose population is over 96 million and most of them are young, with positive GDP indexes, it can be easily understood that such brands as Vinamilk and Sabeco can attract impressive capital.
Besides, consumer goods, oil and gas, or energy are the sectors that Vietnam has advantages over other Asian countries.
Government efforts to make policies that increase the openness and equality in attracting foreign investment also make it easier for foreign investors with the large investment.
Thank you very much!