Vietnam Business & Weather Briefing (August 1): Rain in the North Tends to Decrease
Gold rate: VND 65.8 million (buying) - VND 66.8 million (selling)
Reference exchange rate: VND 23,161/USD
Real estate news: M&A deals light up the property market in the first half of 2022
Export news: Big step for Vietnamese fruits toward US market
From about August 6, there is a possibility of a low-pressure trough forming in the middle of the South China Sea
While the global gold price tended to decrease, the domestic gold price stood still.
DOJI in Hanoi is listing the buying price at VND 65.8 million per tael and the selling price at VND 66.8 million per tael. Meanwhile, DOJI in Ho Chi Minh City is trading the metal at VND 65.9 million - 66.9 million per tael for buying and selling transactions, respectively.
Reference exchange rate
The State Bank of Vietnam set the daily reference exchange rate for the US dollar at VND 23,161/USD on August 1, down VND 15 from the last working day of the previous week. With the current trading band of +/-3 percent, the ceiling rate applied to commercial banks during the day is VND 23,856/USD, and the floor rate is VND 22,466/USD.
The opening-hour rates at many commercial banks also dropped. Vietcombank listed the buying rate at VND 23,170/USD and the selling rate at VND 23,480/USD, both down VND 30 from July 29. BIDV also cut both rates by VND 35, listing at VND 23,195/USD (buying) and VND 23,495/USD (selling).
Real estate news: M&A deals light up the property market in the first half of 2022
Since the beginning of the year, the real estate market has seen an uptick in merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, including office, residential, and industrial projects. According to a Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) survey, the purchase of Capital Place, a Grade A office building in the heart of Hanoi, by Viva Land from CapitaLand Development for USD 550 million, heated up the office M&A market.
The high-class office project consists of two 37-story office towers, selected to house the main offices of many multinational corporations in the capital city. Previously, Viva Land also successfully acquired Saigon One Tower and renamed it IFC One, Saigon. The project, which is located at the heart of district 1 of Ho Chi Minh City, is designed as a commercial building including offices, apartments, and a commercial center with a total floor area of 124,100 square meters (sq.m).
For the housing segment, the market has also recorded a number of huge deals, such as Novaland's acquisition of the Kenton Node project from Tai Nguyen Construction Production Trading Co. and renaming it Grand Sentosa. This is a luxury apartment project with more than 1,640 apartments in Phuoc Kien commune, Nha Be district, HCM City. Another noteworthy transaction is the purchase of the Saigon Binh An project, which is now known as The Global City, by Masterise Homes. The 117ha project is located next to the Saigon Sports City complex and the Long Thanh-Dau Giay highway.
Recently, the US investment fund Warburg Pincus announced an investment of 250 million USD in Novaland to increase the land bank and develop Novaland's existing projects in strategic locations, taking advantage of the infrastructure that is gradually improving in the southern region. Two other investment funds - VinaCapital and Dragon Capital - also poured 103 million USD into Hung Thinh Land JSC, C&W’s survey showed. Meanwhile, industrial real estate remains the hottest segment in the M&A market, accounting for 35% of the sector's total transaction value with numerous deals.
Early this year, GLP established GLP Vietnam Development Partners I with a total investment of 1.1 billion USD in six logistics center projects. GLP is a top investment manager and business developer for facilities, digital infrastructure, renewable energy, and logistics. In February, BW Industrial Development JSC - an industrial real estate developer co-founded by Warburg Pincus and Becamex IDC - acquired about 74,000sq.m of land in Bac Tien Phong Industrial Park in Quang Ninh province developed by DEEP C.
C&W Company said that a recent notable deal was the acquisition of a 49% stake in KTG & Boustead Logistics Industrial JSC in Yen Phong Industrial Park in Bac Ninh province by Boustead Projects Co., Ltd for USD 6.9 million. Trang Bui, head of Cushman & Wakefield, said that residential and industrial property will be the most attractive sectors for investors and developers from HCM City, Hanoi, and neighboring provinces.
Besides traditional real estate types, in the past two quarters, an investment in data center real estate was also announced by Gaw Capital Partners, a Hong Kong-based private investment firm, with a Tier 3 Data Centre project, built on a site of 6,056sq.m in the Sai Gon Hi-Tech Park of HCM City. Experts said that despite the slowing growth rate of countries in the region, the Vietnamese economy grew at 7.72% in the second quarter of 2022, the highest level in 11 years. Vietnam set a new record with 10.06 billion USD in capital from foreign investors in the first half of 2022.
Leading foreign investors in the real estate market include Singapore, Japan, Denmark, China, and the Republic of Korea. C&W also identified many existing problems related to the market, such as legal procedures. However, as the legal system is gradually improving in order to limit conflicts among regulations in the investment legal system, it will partly remove many existing barriers to M&A activities in the real estate market this year.
Export news: Big step for Vietnamese fruits towards US market
First litchi fruits of northern Hai Duong and Bac Giang provinces have been shipped by sea to the US to be sold at Safeway and Albertsons - two supermarket chains with the largest network on the West Coast of the US. This is a result of the efforts by the Vietnamese Consulate General in San Francisco in bringing Vietnamese products to foreign distribution systems that started early this year.
According to the Asia-America Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, this is a giant step forward in promoting the sale of Vietnamese fruits in general and litchi in particular in the US market, as the majority of Vietnamese fruits have been sold only small markets and supermarkets to serve Asian consumers.
A representative from US Dragonberry Produce, the distributor of Vietnamese litchi in the US, said that two other containers of litchi are also on their way to the US. The fruit will continue to be sold in the two supermarket chains with a price tag of USD 4.99 for each bag of 430 grams. The representative said that the firm has taken steps to introduce the fruit to local partners and consumers.
It piloted the marketing of Vietnamese litchi in early May during the San Francisco trade, investment, and tourism promotion conference which was attended by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. The company then imported litchi by air to sell in Los Angeles supermarkets.
The high air transport cost made Vietnamese litchi less competitive in the market. This is the reason why the export of litchi to the US has been modest while the fruit has been accepted in the market since 2014. Therefore, Dragonberry decided to transport litchi by sea and succeeded, which is expected to strongly increase the export of Vietnamese litchi to the US in the time to come.
August 2: According to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, Hanoi will still have showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. However, the rain will decrease in the coming days. Ho Chi Minh City will enjoy a cloudy day with scattered rain in some places with average temperatures ranging from 26-30 Celcius degree.
From about August 6, there is a possibility of a low-pressure trough forming in the middle of the South China Sea, then moving northward. Under its influence, rain is predicted to come back to the northern provinces.
Vietnam Business & Weather Briefing (July 28): Reference exchange rate up VND 9, remittances to HCM City drop 13% in H1.
Vietnam Business & Weather Briefing (July 30): Only 40% of international air routes resumed, Russian bank launches money transfers to Vietnam in dong.
Vietnam Business & Weather Briefing (July 31): Tuna exports predicted to surge amid high inflation, Vietnam Airlines launches online check-in at Sydney and Melbourne.