Southeast Asian Business Roundup
The investment firm VinaCapital, which heavily invests in listed stocks, recently announced plans aimed at reducing direct property holdings and increasing investment in private equity.
Its Vietnam Opportunity Fund, which changed its listing from the Alternative Investment Market to the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange as of 30 March, is investing in five categories, including listed equities, over-the-counter stocks, private equity, direct real estate and operating assets.
At present private equity represents only 11.2 percent of the fund’s assets.
VinaCapital recently completed the US$9 million buyout of a Ho Chi Minh City-based private healthcare facility called Thai Hoa Hospital.
Earlier this year, the company increased its over-the-counter portfolio by acquiring shares of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam, which is effectively the monopoly airport operator. VinaCapital reported an investment value at US$10.5 million.
The ANZ Banking Group is reportedly looking to reduce its holdings in Malaysia, aiming to sell its 24 percent stake in Malaysian lender AMMB
Holdings Bhd (AmBank). ANZ is also seeking to reduce its 20 percent stake in China’s Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank.
The ANZ stake in Malaysia’s sixth-biggest lender is valued at about US$820
Singapore government-linked sovereign wealth fund GIC has entered an agreement to acquire a 25 percent stake in the French-based property management company CeGeREAL from global real estate investment firm Northwood Investors LLC at a price of 35.65 euro (US$40.6) per share.
CeGeREAL is currently valued at around 1.9 billion euro (US$2.1 billion). Northwood, with US$9 billion in assets under management, and its affiliates will retain a controlling stake of 57.48 per cent at CeGeREAL following the deal.
GIC has stated it viewed the French property market as a good long-term investment.
Southeast Asia’s largest market has been witnessing the emergence of a number of financial tech (fintech) companies. These businesses basically take funds from investors or financial institutions and channel them towards small and medium companies or individuals.
Among the more prominent of the new fintech companies are the likes of peer to peer lending company Modalku, mobile recharge platform Sepulsa, e-commerce financing company Kredivo, and online micro-lending company UangTeman.
Kredivo, for example, collaborates with e-commerce merchants to provide check-out financing solutions for customers. Instead of entering a 6-digit credit
card number for buying goods from an e-commerce platform, customers can
get a credit line through Kredivo.
The Directorate of Investment and Company Administration announced it had approved 45 investment proposals as at the end of March.
The proposals approved included 26 investments from Myanmar, 14 foreign
investments and five joint ventures covering sectors including manufacturing,
infrastructure, garment production, timber finished products, a gas turbine power plant, telecom and aviation works.
Foreign investors can fully invest in the production and distribution of seeds without the need to joint venture with Myanmar citizens, according to a recent announcement by the Myanmar Investment Commission.