Vietnam’s Biggest Fund Sees Stock Benchmark Rising 17% in 2017

Jan 12, 2017 12:51 am ET

(Bloomberg) -- Vietnam’s stock benchmark will rise as much as 17 percent this year as an expanding economy and the sale of stakes in state-owned businesses lure investors, the nation’s largest fund manager said. That would follow a 15 percent climb in 2016.

“The macro situation looks very favorable,” said Alan Pham, Ho Chi Minh City-based chief economist of VinaCapital Group, which manages about $2 billion in assets. He expects Vietnam’s economy to expand 6.5 percent in 2017, up from 6.2 percent last year.

Corporate profits will be buoyed by a stable currency and “reasonable” interest rates, Pham said in a telephone interview Thursday. Earnings at VN Index members are projected to increase 14 percent in the next 12 months, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Last year, the index was buoyed by the growing economy and foreign-direct investment, rising for a fifth consecutive year and recording the biggest gain in three. It has risen 3.3 percent so far in 2017.

Foreigners will continue to invest in Vietnam as the government speeds up the sale of so-called SOEs and pushes companies to list shares, Pham said.

Recommendations

  • Consumer and manufacturing stocks will continue to do well this year, Pham said
  • “Positive” on banks because industry is “functioning better,” improved liquidity is allowing banks to make loans, buy bonds

--With assistance from Choong En Han To contact the reporter on this story: Nguyen Kieu Giang in Hanoi at giang1@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Divya Balji at dbalji1@bloomberg.net, Vivek Shankar, Teo Chian Wei

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