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Southeast Asia

Covid gives a lift to Vietnam’s capital markets

Vietnam’s capital markets have perked up in the past year during the pandemic, but they are hamstrung by outdated technological infrastructure at the stock exchange. Is change on the way?

Vietnam's Richest Man Pham Nhat Vuong Bets $2 Billion to Sell Cars to Americans
Vingroup, led by chairman Pham Nhat Vuong, sold Vietnam’s largest equity-linked bond in April.
Photo: Getty Images

It took a pandemic to give Vietnam’s capital markets a fillip, push corporations to think beyond just bank loans to other forms of debt, and force a much-needed upgrade of the technology behind the country’s stock exchanges.

Take deal flow, for example. Vietnam’s primary equity capital markets were muted in 2020. Apart from a handful of small fundraisings, there were only two trades worth more than $100 million last year, Dealogic data shows. Commercial real estate developer Vinhomes raised D5.4 trillion ($237 million) from a follow-on offering of new equity in September. Sabeco, Vietnam’s largest beer producer, did a D4.9 trillion follow-on deal a month later.

Business is brisker this year, buoyed up by a couple of equity-linked bonds and a D3 trillion follow-on in March by Asia Commercial Bank. And in the debt capital markets, BIM Land, the real estate development arm of local conglomerate BIM Group, raised $200 million with an eye-catching, international green bond in April.

BIM