Category Asean

Why the Iran deal could work for North Korea

Author: Chung-In Moon, Yonsei University On the brink of a crisis that threatened to escalate into conflict, North and South Korea recently reached an agreement on 25 August to prevent further confrontation, resume official talks, hold reunions of separated families…

Foreign investment in Indonesian highest in ASEAN

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The foreign investment in Indonesia during the first half of 2015 is the highest in ASEAN region, head of the Investment Coordinating Board Franky Sibarani said here Monday. Data obtained from the Financial Times showed that the flow of investment in Indonesia amounted to US$ 13.66 billion, or 31 percent of all investment in ASEAN. "In the first semester of 2015 Indonesia absorbs 31 percent of foreign investment. This value is the highest among 10 ASEAN member countries," he said. According to Sibarani, the figure is much higher than other ASEAN countries such as Vietnam which absorbs US$ 7.53 billion (17 percent) and Malaysia US$ 7.01 billion (16 percent). "This data shows that amid of a slowing global economy, Indonesia is still potential as a major investment destination in ASEAN," he added. Globally, the investment flow throughout the first half of 2015 reaches US$ 311 billion, down to 15.8 percent compared to that of the first half of 2014 amounting to US$ 369.5 billion. Nevertheless, the flow of investment into the Asia Pacific region in the first half of 2015 rose 9.2 percent or US$ 137.3 billion, compared to that of the the first semester of 2014 which amounted to US$ 125.8 billion. "Asia-Pacific is the only region which still records a positive growth of investment flows," he said. The investment into ASEAN in the first half of 2015 originating from China (17 percent), Japan (15 percent), Thailand (12 percent), South Korea (12 percent), Singapore (10 percent), United States (9 percent), Malaysia (3 percent), Germany (3 percent), Taiwan (2 per cent) and Switzerland (2 percent). The three ASEAN countries of the top 10 investment in Indonesia are Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. By antaranews.comThe post Foreign investment in Indonesian highest in ASEAN appeared first on Asean Investment | Marc Djandji Blog.

Malaysia Ready to Chair the 47th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting

ASEAN Economic Ministers will meet in Kuala Lumpur from August 22 to 25 to put the finishing touches to the formal establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of this year. YB. Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry Malaysia will be chairing the 47th ASEAN Economic Ministers' (AEM) Meeting that is expected to deliberate on, among others: the implementation of the AEC measures, especially the completion of commitments agreed to under the AEC 2015 Blueprint; the work on developing the ASEAN Post-2015 Economic Vision 2025 and strategic action plans for the next 10 years; and development of the ASEAN SME Master Plan 2016-2025. The AEC seeks to formally establish a single market and production base among the 10 Member States of ASEAN. "The eventual integration of national economies into a single regional bloc is expected to facilitate the creation of a seamless trade and investment regime in ASEAN. It will also propel ASEAN's economy, whose GDP currently is estimated at USD2.7 trillion, into a global powerhouse, with GDP expected to rise to a combined USD 4.7 trillion by 2020," Dato' Sri Mustapa said. Further, YB. Dato' Sri Mustapa will chair the ASEAN Economic Ministers Consultations with ASEAN's Dialogue Partners. Economic ministers from Australia, Canada, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States of America will be participating in the meetings with the ASEAN Economic Ministers. The ASEAN Economic Ministers will also be meeting with representatives from the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC), the East Asia Business Council (EABC), the Federation of Japanese Chambers of Commerce and Industry in ASEAN (FJCCIA), the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC), the Canada-ASEAN Business Council (CABC) and the ASEAN-India Business Council. In addition, the EU-ASEAN Business Summit and the East Asia Investment Forum will be held on 23 and 24 August 2015, respectively. The meetings will include discussions on enhancing economic linkages with ASEAN Dialogue and Sectoral Partners which include progress in the enhancement and upgrade of ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement; the conclusion of the trade in services and investment chapters of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement; further improvements to the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement; ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement Economic Cooperation Support Programme; ratification and entry into force of the ASEAN-India Trade in Services and Investment Agreements; progress of the implementation of the ASEAN-Russia Trade and Investment Cooperation Roadmap; ASEAN-US Trade and Investment Agreement and Expanded Economic Engagement Initiatives; and the ASEAN-Canada Joint Declaration on Trade and Investment Work Plan 2014-2015. By asean.orgThe post Malaysia Ready to Chair the 47th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting appeared first on Asean Investment | Marc Djandji Blog.

VPBS Foreign Fund Flows

Here is our Weekly Foreign Fund Flows report. In it, you’ll find comprehensive details on what foreigners are buying and selling in Vietnam. | Foreign Fund Flows Commentary | Foreigners continued to net buy the market, though they slowed their total trading activity. They net bought VND411.9bn (USD18.6m) worth of Vietnamese equities, up 46% compared to USD12.7m in the previous review period. Of this amount, the value traded in HOSE accounted for 88%.   The net buying came mainly from long-term foreign investors, as foreign ETFs sold for the second consecutive week. ETFs net sold USD1m worth of shares this week, after withdrawing USD863.9k in the previous week. The Van Eck Market Vector was accounted for the withdrawing total amount, while the DB x-Tracker ETF remain unchanged.   Last week, the foreign focused on buying SSI VND141.2bn (USD6.4m); NT2 VND54.6bn (USD2.5m); VIC VND42.7bn (USD1.9m) and selling VCB VND30.7bn (USD1.4m); VTF VND13.1bn (USD592,000).   Vietnam’s stock derivatives market will start in the second half of 2016, as the government tries to boost the stock market to ease the burden weighing on the banking system. In the initial phase of the market, between 15 and 20 securities firms and nearly 20 banks will be eligible to serve derivatives transactions, said Mr. Long, Vice Chairman of the State Securities Commission.   Vietnam doubled its trading band for interbank dollar/dong transactions on Wednesday, aiming to protect its exports by countering the adverse effects of a strengthening dollar and yuan devaluation, the central bank said. Dollar/dong transactions can now move in a band of +/-2% around a mid-point.   | Fixed Income | Liquidity of VND in the banking system remained high, helping interbank rates to fall across all tenors. Trading volume of outright transactions in the secondary market was up 30 percent from a week earlier and the winning ratio in the primary market improved. Balanced demand and supply helped bond yields remain within a tight band, with slight falls for short tenors and marginal increases for the longer terms. Outlook: Next week, bond yields are expected to fluctuate in a tight band or move sideways. Please click HERE for the full report | In the News | Vietnam set to finalise policy on scrapping foreign ownership limits Source: Dealstreetasia Vietnam has decided to scrap the cap imposed on foreign holding in local firms across various sectors. A detailed drafted circular, for implementing the removal of foreign ownership limit in Vietnamese companies, is likely to be passed sometime this week, the State Securities Commission (SSC) said on Thursday. The regulation, which is part of the decree 60/2015/ND-CP that guides the implementation of the securities law, will take effect from next month. Thus, the upcoming circular is expected to list out the industries in which the foreign investors are allowed full engagement, while defining sectors where the limit still remains. Currently, foreign companies are allowed to own up to 49 per cent equity in listed enterprises and only up to 30 per cent in banks. “Opening the room for foreign investors is an inevitable need that we have to deploy, as the 49 per cent limit has been maintained for quite long,” said the SSC president Vu Bang, adding that there will be no limit for companies operating in the non-conditional business lines. Bang said the decree is a vital legal document that reflects the commission’s efforts in building a more transparent and opened stock market. The decree also regulates the issues of private placement, public offer and selling securities abroad. Last month, the commission also drafted two other circulars to address these operations MobiFone Vietnam moves into retail Source: MergerMarket LifeBrandz Limited has agreed to acquire Eastlife Pte Ltd, Astique Clinicentral Ltd, 51% stake of Truong Giang Investment and Trading Joint Stock Company and 75% stake of Green Jade Limited from HealthTrends Medical Investments Pte Ltd. LifeBrandz Limited is a listed Singapore-based company engaged in developing and managing lifestyle, leisure and entertainment brands, contributing to a vibrant nightlife and tourism experience. Truong Giang Investment and Trading Joint Stock Company is a Vietnam-based company engaged in the business of medical aesthetics clinics. The objective of the acquisition is to facilitate the alteration of the business of the new company into healthcare services including medical aesthetics and wellness clinics in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam and other Asian markets   VPBS Equity Research Summary   It was a busy week for our research team. They initiated on two companies (FPT and HUT), updated on SSI, and published a note on the impact of China’s devaluation. Saigon Securities Inc. – The largest securities firm is seeking shareholders' approval by written consent for lifting FOL to 100%.  (Update, BUY, VND29,500, SSI VN) Click HERE to download the Update Report At its current price of VND28,000 per share, SSI is trading at 11.3x our FY15E estimates EPS and 1.9x book. We recommend a BUY on SSI because (1) the stock would be most favourable from the Decree 60 and (2) once settlement time period reduced to T+1, SSI will benefit from the expected increase in liquidity. Investment Thesis: Revision to Cir. 74 will improve liquidity: With the settlement period being reduced from three to one day (stocks within VN30 and HNX3), we predict total trading value in Vietnam will increase by 25% in 2016. SSI is the largest brokerage firm in Vietnam: The company ranks number one in term of market capital and market share. We believe that SSI can leverage its existing reputation to raise its market shares in the future. Market consolidation will solidify growth: To partake in T+0 trading and derivative markets, securities firm have to meet strict requirements with regard to size and profitability. We regard this as a sign of future market consolidation in this sector which should give more market shares toward larger firms such as SSI. Foreign Ownership Limit to be opened up: Recently signed Decree 60/2015/ND-CP raised the FOL level in publicly traded securities company to 100% starting September 1, 2015. We believe that SSI’s stock price will continue to benefit from this regulation in the short-term. Technical analysis indicates neutral trend: SSI has retreated from the peak but managed to protect its support level at VND26,500 – 27,000, formed by the MA20 and its last October’s peak. This level boosted demand, helping SSI bounce back to maintain its current uptrend and have a chance to retest its peak of VND28,700.   Our Research Department also initiated on FPT Corporation (HSX: FPT) with a BUY recommendation and a target price of VND55,500. FPT Corporation – Leading information technology conglomerates in Vietnam with expected high growth rate in revenues. (Initiation, BUY, VND55,500, FPT VN) Click HERE to download the Initiation Report At its current price of VND48,500 per share, FPT is trading at 10.4x our EPS and 2.2x our book FY15E estimates. We recommend a BUYon FPT as we believe the stock is trading quite, only 8.2 times 2016 EPS, given a strong growth expectation in upcoming years. Investment thesis: Strong earnings growth in 2015. For 2015, we maintain our predictions that FPT’s consolidated revenue will grow by 18.8% (2014: 20.8%) while net profit will grow by 13.6% (2014: 1.5%). Key segments will still outperform in upcoming years. We believe that software outsourcing (revenue +43% in 1H2015), telecommunication (+28%), distribution (+23%) and retailing (+63%) segments will maintain growth momentum in the next three years thanks to favourable business conditions. Net profit growth of 22% in 2016. Profit growth will come mainly from growths in the aforementioned segments and from lower depreciation expenses for the telecommunication segment in 2016. We noted that FPT is currently trading at 8.2 times 2016 EPS – quite cheap for a blue chip stock that has solid earning growths. Technical analysis: In the short term, FPT is in a correction phase after hitting its six-month high at VND49,500. It is trading below the short term moving average curves, such as the MA5, MA10 and MA20. Thus, we expect that the FPT’s stock price will continue to test its MA50 support level at VND46,000 and do not see a strong short-term trend.   The team also initiated on Tasco JSC (HNX: HUT) with a HOLD recommendation and a target price of VND12,800. TASCO JSC –  A Leading Infrastructure Company with 44 years experiences favoured by the high growth rate of automobile usage. (Initiation, HOLD, VND12,800, HUT VN) Click HERE to download the Initiation Report At its current price of VND12,800 per share, HUT is trading at 11.2x our EPS and 0.9x our book FY15E estimates. We recommend aHOLD on HUT as we believe the stock good long-term upside potential, but are currently in a downward short-term trend. Investors who do not already own shares may want to wait for lower entry points. Investment thesis: 2015 business results down significantly. We project 2015 net profit down 49% y-o-y. According to 2015’s target, the company will mainly record BT39 project (booked a part of revenue and profit in 2011) with total investment of VND1,882 billion (USD86.7 million) while HUT recorded mainly BT21 project with total investment of VND 3,802 billion (VND175.2 million) in 2014. Toll collection segment is growing strongly with higher toll rates and new gates. HUT doubled the toll rate at Tan De Station on Jan 1, 2015 and opened a new toll station (BOT Highway 1A - Quang Binh) on July 1, 2015. We expect another new tollgate to payback for BOT 39 project to come into operations as early as the first quarter next year. Reduced focus on BOT will help lower leverage. From management we learnt that HUT will not focus on BOT projects due to their low profit margin and large investment capital. This will help the company lower its debt ratio level in the future. Real estate projects will add long-term value. HUT expects to restart construction of the South Building Apartment in Q4/2015 and open about 380 units (Phase I) of Xuan Phuong Urban for sale by Q1/2016. Therefore, we have added the residual value of property projects to our valuation model. High dilution risk in the next two years. Private placement for strategic investors and stock dividends increased HUT’s outstanding shares by 36% in the first six months of 2015. HUT also plans to issue convertible bonds of VND500 billion (USD23 million) in Q3/2015 which can be converted in 2017. Forward P/E is higher than peers. HUT’s trailing P/E is well below its peers. However, we estimate HUT’s 2015 EPS at VND1,007 due to a sizeable dilution and declining net profits. At our target price, the stock will trade at a 2015 P/E of 12.7x, higher than its peers’ LTM P/E of 9.1x Our macro team also published an update on the devaluation of the Chinese Yuan: China devaluation has wide impacts on Vietnam and the world: Please click HERE for the full report Over the past three days, China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has adjusted downward the value of the local currency (CNY) by a combined 4.6 percent, 1.9 percent on August 11, 1.6 percent on August 12, and 1.1 percent today Perhaps more significantly though, these changes were due to a change in policy as to how the PBoC will manage the currency There are several reasons for the PBoC to support a devaluation Weakening exports Falling F/X Reserves IMF Special Drawing Rights Impacts of CNY devaluation were felt across global market The weakening of other local currencies FED may be reluctant to lift interest rates in the coming September FOMC meeting The US Dollar price of such commodities as metals will be lower Support for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement may be improved in the US Credit default swap spreads and USD borrowing costs for emerging market companies and governments will be higher Winners and Losers in Vietnam Immediately following the CNY devaluation, the State Bank of Vietnam (the SBV) extended the trading band of its currency (VND) from one percent to two percent. We think that the move of the SBV is timely reaction to ease the market with more fluctuation allowed, while maintaining official exchange rate. The bilateral trade deficit with China may grow furthers The exports value of Vietnam to other markets may deteriorate Property owners and companies that import inputs and sell their products domestically may benefit Stronger pressure for VND devaluation will make it more difficult for Vietnam’s banking sector to implement the policy of the SBV to lower lending interest rates by additional 0.5-1 percent in the second half of this year.   Please feel free to contact me should you like to learn more about these investment opportunitiesThe post VPBS Foreign Fund Flows appeared first on Asean Investment | Marc Djandji Blog.

Deal is signed for largest ASEAN wind farm, near Mekong in south of Laos

Thai renewable company Impact Energy Asia (IEA) plans to build the largest wind farm in ASEAN — and generate 600 megawatts on 400,000 rai in southern Laos — under an agreement signed by the Lao government and the company on Friday. "Called Monsoon Wind Farm, the US$1.5 billion farm will be located near the Mekong River across from Ubon Ratchathani," said Woramol Khamkanist, who heads the firm. The accord was signed by Laos' Deputy Minister for Investment and Planning Dr. Khamniang Phonsena and IEA director Paradai Suebma. Laos' Deputy Minister for Energy and Mining Vilaphon Veelawong and Royal Thai Embassy official in Laos Rujikorn Saengchan also attended the signing. Woramol said: "We are encouraged by the support from the Lao and Thai governments." The wind project will be turned over to the Lao government after a 25-year concession. The wind farm covers two districts: Dak Cheung in Sekong province and Sanxay in Attapeu province. The governor of Attapeu Nam Viyaked also witnessed the signing. Monsoon Wind is due to deliver its payload in 2019. It will be built on land where 4,000 people live in six scattered villages. "The wind farm does not encroach on arable land or harm the environment," an IEA engineer said. "It will not disrupt the lives of people." About 95 percent of the power is expected to be sold to ASEAN markets, mainly to Thailand and buyers bordering the Mekong. The project is also critical to Thailand's energy needs. "In the next 10 years, local production of natural gas and LNG will be depleted and much of our LNG needs will have to be imported to replace local demand," IEA executive Somboon Lertsuwannaroj said. The project will also play a key role in the ASEAN Power Grid Policy to sell power from Laos via Thai and Malaysia grids to Singapore, which has pledged to buy Lao power to assist one of the poorer members in the group. "It is only prudent that we rely on ourselves and a sister nation such as Laos, with which we share a common language, culture and historical ties," Somboon said. "After all, Laos, with its Lan Chang (million elephants) culture is truly a twin of our Lan Na (million ricefields) heritage." Monsoon Wind is the first energy project in Laos to be granted to a Thai company. Previously, Thai state agencies were involved in all power projects. IEA will also clear the site where the wind farm will be built of many explosive devices left from the Indochina conflict in the 1960s and '70s. Laos has one of the highest amounts of unexploded bombs of any country in the world. The Monsoon Wind farm hopes to generate over 1,500 million units of power annually and avoid an estimated 750,0000 tonnes of carbon emissions that would be generated by a coal plant. The project is also expected to spur the building of needed infrastructure like roads, bridges, telecommunications and power grids in Laos, including improved roads to Vietnam and Thailand. By Itthi C. Tan ,The Nation/Asia News NetworkThe post Deal is signed for largest ASEAN wind farm, near Mekong in south of Laos appeared first on Asean Investment | Marc Djandji Blog.

Viet Nam ranks high in M&A

HCM CITY (VNS) — Viet Nam ranks high among ASEAN countries in the number of merger and acquisition (M&A) deals and the value of deals that involved the world's inflow capital, according to the consulting firm RECOF Corporation of Japan. In the first half of this year Viet Nam took the second position with 77 deals, second only to Singapore with 93. Through these deals, Vietnamese enterprises received US$1.122 billion from investors elsewhere, ranking third, after Singapore and Indonesia. Between 2005 and 2009, Viet Nam's figures were 307 deals worth $2.888 billion, which placed the country at sixth among six ASEAN countries, after Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. The company's managing director Masataka Yoshida cited the country's high quality workforce, the Government's policy to attract investments with new investment, enterprise and land laws, and improvement of infrastructure and logistics network. The development of the private sector and the geographic advantage as a hub of ASEAN in connection with China were also cited. The formation of the ASEAN Economic Community and the increase in consumers in the middle-income category are also factors affecting Viet Nam's growth. The AEC offers opportunities in reducing and removing custom duties, as exports will increase in competitive industries, leading to more investments to expand production. The boom in consumers with growing demand will also attract more investments. Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong told participants at the M&A Forum held yesterday by Dau Tu (Investment) newspaper in coordination with AVM Vietnam, an investment promotion company, that Viet Nam's National Assembly had recently given its approval to the Public Investment Law, amended Investment Law, amended Enterprise Law and amended laws on housing and real estate. The Government had also issued a decree enabling larger room for foreign investment in various areas. The implementation of the laws and policies are creating a better legal environment for investment and trade in general and M&A market in particular, said the deputy minister. The country's deeper and wider integration into the world's economy is offering new opportunities for M&A activities, he said. Eight years after joining the World Trade Organisation, Viet Nam is actively participating in the formation of the AEC, and deploying the implementation of commitments in free trade agreements with its partners, which is a driving factor behind M&A activities. Another factor is the Government's programme to equitise State-owned enterprises. The Prime Minister approved the plan to turn 432 SoEs in to joint stock status in the 2014-2015 period. To date, 176 of them have been equitised. Initial public offerings by major SoEs have been creating new, attractive supplies to the M&A markets. The restructuring of commercial banks and the divestments from non-core business by SoEs have made the M&A markets more attractive. Another driving factor is the strong, emerging private sector with many businesses choosing M&A as an important strategy for restructuring to ensure sustainable growth, according to Dong. The State Securities Commission of Viet Nam's Chairman Vu Bang said encouraging signs for foreign investment were the recovery of the macroeconomy, reform policies opening a wider door to foreign investors, the conclusion of FTAs and TPPs, the bouncing back of the stock market, and new regulations including wider room for foreign investors in companies. "The derivatives market expected to open next year will help prevent risks and boost the growth of the stock market, promoting M&A deals," he added. Experts at the forum said foreign investors, especially those from Japan, Korea and the US, have high interest in M&A activities in Viet Nam and have plans for deals. Statistics from the MAF research group show that the value of M&A transactions last year in Viet Nam rose 20 per cent compared to 2013, reaching $4.2 billion (more than 300 deals), still lower than the record of $5 billion in 2012. The retail sector, consumer industry and real estate made up the largest proportion in terms of the number of deals and value. By VNSThe post Viet Nam ranks high in M&A appeared first on Asean Investment | Marc Djandji Blog.