Vietnam is experiencing an increasing interest of investors from Japan. The most recent presence of Japanese companies in the local market is a deal between real estate firm Nam Long Investment Corporation, Hankyu Realty and Nishi Nippon Railroad. Meanwhile, another equitised state-owned company has decided to list shares within this year. In the banking sector, the merger of Mekong Development Bank into Maritime Bank has been approved by the country’s central bank.
Japanese investors acquired Vietnam’s realty project
Vietnamese property developer Nam Long Investment Corporation and two Japanese companies, Hankyu Realty and Nishi Nippon Railroad, have reached a deal to jointly develop the Ho Chi Minh City based Flora Anh Dao Apartment project. According to the deal, Nam Long will sell 50 per cent in the project to the foreign partners.
The $23.25 million project is to be built on a 1.1 hectare area, is 16-storey high with, 500 apartments. The Japanese investors committed to finance the development of the project as well as support for customers.
The project is expected to open for sale in April, with an anticipated profit margin of 12-15 per cent, contributing around 15 per cent of Nam Long Investment’s profit structure. The company is also planning to expand this project within the next five years to 6000 apartments.
In 2014, Nam Long Investment earned a revenue of VND924.4 billion ($43 million), increasing 50 per cent over 2013. The corresponding figures for profit was VND95.3 billion ($4.43 million) and 350 per cent.
Seaprodex plans listing shares, appoints new board member
The Vietnam National Seafood Corporation (Seaprodex), which had its initial public offer (IPO) in December 2014, will list 125 million shares on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, the company announced at its first shareholder meeting as a joint stock company.
Since the IPO, Hanoi Export – Import Company‘s (Geleximco) subsidiaries and related companies have become Seaprodex’s major shareholder with a 35 per cent stake. During the meeting, Geleximco’s chairman and CEO, Vu Van Tien, was selected as the seafood processor’s vice chairman.
The year 2014 was the most lucrative period for Seaprodex since 2011. The total processed food reached over 6,800 tons, rising 17 per cent as compared to a year earlier. Export turnover increased 26 per cent to $88 million. Its profit stood at VND187.6 billion ($8.7 million), surging 113 per cent year-on-year.
This year’s targets are set at $78 million, for export, VND2.56 trillion ($119 million) for revenue and VND83.7 billion ($3.9 million) for profit. In fact, the targets of production see little changes, while the difference in financial figures is because the company recorded a profit from dividends from animal feed firm Proconco, where Seaprodex holds 17.5 per cent.
Meanwhile, electricity rate lifted since March 16 will reflected in this year’s rising costs. In addition, the challenges remain for Vietnamese seafood companies as a whole from the tax and technical barriers of imported countries to protect their businesses.
Also read: Vietnam’s Seaprodex raise $21.7m in IPO
Merger between Maritime Bank and MDB approved
MDB’s operation focuses on the geo-location of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, where Maritime Bank’s network is quite sparse. Thus, the merger will help the Hanoi-based lender gain the foothold in the southwest region. Maritime Bank is currently holding 10 per cent in MDB.
The bank post merger will have a charter capital of VND11.8 trillion ($548.8 million). Maritime Bank has also planned to establish or acquire a financial firm after the merger.
The 24 year bank reported a revenue of VND4.8 trillion ($233.26 million) by the second quarter of last year, leaving a profit of VND76.5 billion ($3.56 million), declining some 60 per cent over the same period in 2013. Meanwhile, MDB’s profit in the third quarter last year jumped by 18 times year-on-year to reach VND29.44 billion. However, MDB is much smaller compared to Maritime Bank in terms of capital and total asset.
Related story: Vietnam consolidates banks to form regional lenders