Andrew Racz
Director of Research
300 East 54 Street, Suite 26C
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 319-6949
Fax: (212) 753-1944

Vietnam – In Peace!

February 26, 2013

The United States fought its longest war in Vietnam.


There is regret but not dislike against

The Vietnamese People

The Rt. Hon. John Kerry

Is the New Secretary of State of the U.S.

Already, there is a $300M ETF in Ho Chi Minh City

Listed on the NYSE

Vietnam ETF Up 31% in 2013

The Market Vectors Vietnam ETF (VNM) has rallied up 31% year to date to lead the emerging markets category. Vietnamese stocks have become more attractive to foreign investors due to enticing valuations and improved liquidity in local stock markets.

The Economic Roller-coaster of one of the Far East New Countries

The fact that Vietnam as an economic entity exists is an economic and political miracle. There is a desire in Vietnam to reach global trade and therefore develop an international investment system. Partial privatization of state owned enterprises and modernization of trade is increasingly growing in the total economy.

In terms of numbers, Vietnam is the 30th country of the 41 countries in the Asia-Pacific region and it is considered 140 in the world system of 200 nations.

There is a full desire for the lack of democratic governance and its gradual changing whereby clearing the country from corruption. The actual economic liberalization began in 1986 and in the year 2007, Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization. The government made a commitment to privatization and liberalization particularly the financial institutions. The country is growing through tourism and export. The remaining main problem is inflation which is characteristic of all the Asian-Pacific countries.

Any developing and growing country is described and represented by banking and brokerage systems. In order to take a country seriously and in order to integrate into the world trading system and investment system, strong banks and investment companies are essential. One of the main investment companies is the Saigon Securities.


Company Description

Saigon Securities is a Vietnam-based investment services provider established in 1999. The company mainly broker services for securities investors and underwriting and minor shareholders services. It has also been involved in investment activities on its own accounts, portfolio management, advisory services for corporate clients, and investment research. Through its fund management subsidiary, the Company is engage din capital and money markets, as well as other investment.

Company Analysis

According to the Individual – Audited financial statement for the second quarter of 2012, total ret operating revenues decreased with -5.82%, from BND 245,089.64 millions to VND 230,821 millions. Operating results increased from VND 17,568.61 millions to VND 25,461.66 millions which means 44.93% change. The results of the period increased 1266. 12% reaching VND 69,386.99 millions at the end of the period against VND 5,079.14 millions last year. Return on equity (Net income/Tottal equity) went from 0.10% to 1.35%, the Return On Asset (Net income / Total Asset) went from 0.08% and the Net Profit Margin (Net Income / Net Sales) went from 2.07% to 30.06% when compared to the same period of last year. The Debt to Equity Ratio (Toital from 2.07% to 30.06% when compared to the same period of last year. The Debt to equity Ratio (Total Liabilities/Equity) was 59.91% compared to 29.69% of last year.

Strong banking and investment companies are the cornerstone of a country like Vietnam.

As a similarity in the 1930’s in Vienna, the famous bank Kreditanitald had investment almost every central and eastern European countries and its financial power and responsibilities were vital to those countries.

The collapse of the Kreditanstalt in 1932 followed the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the collapse as result brought down the whole of Central Europe’s banks.

The investment activities in Vietnam are growing at the rate of almost 20% per annum. New companies are formed and there are corporate mergers and foreign investments have grown at the rate of perhaps 25%.

One of the leading banks, BIDV Bank is considered the most important bank in Vietnam. Its importance cannot be understated.

BIDV Bank: The most important bank in Vietnam

Bank for investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV)

The importance of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) to the banking system of Vietnam cannot be understated. Perhaps even more important than Vietcombank, BIDV performs certain functions in Vietnam’s banking system that in other countries are carried out only by a central bank.

A good example of this is its appointment as the clearing bank by the government in 2000. Since 2000 (when the stock market opened) until now, nearly all securities transactions carried out in Vietnam’s stock markets are cleared through BIDV.


World Rank: 140

Regional Rank: 30

Vietnam’s economic freedom score is 51, making its economy the 140th freest in the 2013 Index. Its score is 0.3 point more than last year with declines in monetary freedom, labor freedom, and trade freedom overshadowing improvements in control of government spending, business freedom, and freedom from corruption. Vietnam is ranked 30th out of 41 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and its overall score is lower than the world and regional average.

The Vietnamese economy has weathered the global economic downturn relatively well. Capitalizing on its measured integration into the global trade and investment system, the country has slowly been transforming itself into a more market oriented economy. Reforms include partial privatization of state-owned enterprises modernization of the trade regime, and increasing recognition of private property rights.

The rule of law remains an issue, a remnant of decades of Communism. The court system is inefficient and the protection of intellectual property has been a major area of contention in international trade negotiations. A lack of democratic governance and accountability continues to perpetuate systemic corruption.

The government still owns an overwhelming majority of the banks – 78%; the rest 4% owned by the labor union and the staff 15%. It would reserve to strategic partners. Only 3% of the stock will be owned by the public.

It is our information that at about the end of the decade there will be maybe 10 banks in Vietnam each with many branch offices and actually some with overseas offices. The banks are also diversified into investment banking. Currently they are supported by the government which is now gradually decentralizing and becoming a vital part of the economic activity.

Yahoo or Google follow Vitnamese banks and reporting services are modern. Like any developing countries like China, Vietnam has a continuous flow of individuals in the major cities which are a feeding ground for expansion. Once there are, as I mentioned , about 10 powerful banks with overseas connections and modern communications and contacts, the expansion of industries will accelerate. Correspondingly, investment banking will grow and connect Vietnam with other Far East and maybe European nations.

While it is difficult to analyze the desire of Vietnam to have more contact with the United States and such desire may be hidden today, but it exits. We have now considered that in 1975 they won the war; they don’t feel humiliated, they don’t feel underprivileged. As a result its growing economy and banking system would enable the country to establish more commercial ties with the United States.

The interesting concept is that America likes Vietnam. America does not consider Vietnam as a former enemy and in fact there is undisclosed and undeclared desire to have a closer relationship with the country with population approaching 100 million, which already has the basis of a meaningful sized country in the Far East and a country with which they share a horrible experience. The American people as well as the Vietnamese want to put that memory behind them and have the world recognize maybe in 5 or 10 years’ time that Vietnam has a JP Morgan or Marrill Lynch. It already has an ETF system.

The future will bring many surprises.

Vietnam a Political as well as Economic Miracle of the 21st Century

I may be forgiven to use an analogy but no country and no people have suffered more since the Second World War than Vietnam and Israel.

The Israel story is well known; rapid industrialization and defense of unprecedented achievement against tremendous odds. However, Israel not only defended itself and built a country, but to some extent is the most loudest and outspoken nation today in the world. Israel is still fighting and everyday it is confronting difficulties in the military field almost unprecedented in world history.

Vietnam is currently at peace. As a matter of fact, for the last 40 years if anything it fought a civil war without any aggrandizement.

Vietnam was basically the victim of the Cold War. The Cold War did not originate with Vietnam and with relative skill of Ho Chi Minh and his partners; they could have avoided the North versus South confrontation and probably 5 million deaths until 1975.

In many respects from the point of view, the Vietnamese people, the Civil War – the North versus the Vietcong and South Vietnam was an unnecessary war. Yet it became perhaps the bloodiest and most expensive confrontation in the Post-War Era. Originally, the French who considered Vietnam as colonial territory wanted to recapture or made an attempt to recapture Vietnam. Actually, in 1954 the enlightened French Prime Minister Mendes France stated that the world had achieved the era of decolonization and he offered to resign as prime minister if the Vietnam war is not ended.

Unfortunately, a diplomatic incident in Geneva in 1954 divided Vietnam into two parts but an incident took place – John Foster Dulles the Secretary of State of the United States of the United States refused to shake hand with Chu En Li.

From that moment on, Ho Chi Minh had the upper hand with Chinese support and the Civil War began which was started by North Vietnam attacking South Vietnam. There is no question it was a Communist war. The tragedy continued and in 1961, President Kennedy sent 16,000 technical experts to Vietnam. He did not send these with the idea of liberalizing and improving the standard of living of the Vietnamese people, North or South. It was a showdown with Foreign Secretary Gromyko of Russia to prove that the United States was willing to stand against Communism in any part of the World. Kennedy may have been right in the geopolitical sense, but he entered a conflict which dramatically increased when he was assassinated in ’63 and Lyndon Johnson for reasons unknown escalated the Vietnam War until 5 years later the United States had 550,000 troops in Vietnam.

The most colorful statement on the futility of this conflict came from Walter Cronkite of CBS who stated that Vietnam was the first television war. The American people saw homes, individuals, flying from their district, dying from bombs, and America witnessed butchery almost unheard of except for the two World Wars.

In 1969 Nixon became President and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, had done everything to try to unwind the American involvement in Vietnam. Unfortunately, Ho Chi Minh didn’t take part in the venture. When Nixon wrote a very serious letter to Ho Chi Minh before he was inaugurated, there was no reply. As a matter of fact, the famous sentence by Nixon predecessor Lyndon Johnson was that every 3 months he said” I am willing to meet Ho Chi Minh tomorrow”. There was no reply. Ho Chi Minh didn’t answer to the President of the United States. As a result, at least 2 million people were bombed to death. An additional million died in fighting.

In 1973, the war officially ended – ended perhaps in 1975 but the bloodshed continued and an additional million people died - the so-called boat people and further in what’s called Communist oppression of the South innocent civilians probably a million in count, died again.

One would have thought that Vietnam would disappear in history as a nation of close to 100 million people, butchered to death, killed, and subject to the most unnecessary butchery in the world.

Subsequently until 1995, the country was moving along developing itself in a slow manner with continued oppressions and did not participate in the speedy development which was taking place in the Far East.

The Nixon- Ho Chi Minh – Kissinger revolution did not hit Vietnam until somewhat later. In 1972 when President Nixon visited China and accelerated economic development and recognition of China Vietnam was left out of the picture. China, the most populated nation in the world began a step on a thousand mile journey.

The economic development of Vietnam was self-generated. By 1990-95 Vietnam had no enemies but no friends either. There was still political oppression in the country. The economic liberalization began in 1986. Surprisingly and otherwise economically passive and politically antagonistic nation began to liberalize its key economic factors, financial institutions and began trade-specific partnerships free negotiation. Vietnam became a fast growing economy and 15-20 years later (2013) it became a factor in the Far East as well as in the world.

It has a population of 91 million, a GDP of $300 billion, a growth rate for a 5 year period of 6.5%, with unemployment at 2.3% and an inflow of foreign money at 7.4%.

The public debt is less than $40 billion and unemployment is around 2%. The world has begun to understand that the Vietnamese people were basically extremely hard working. In the Far East when there are a number of countries with a population of 200 million, a growth rate of 6.5% for 90 or 100 million nation is an issue of significance.

Vietnam presented its own economic miracle. Various industries or sectors are noteworthy. Oil and gas and agriculture are fueling the growth of the country because of the influx of money. Vietnam has an oil industry which is likely to develop into an oil drilling industry and it finances the growth of its telecommunication industry and IT also. It is participating in IT outsourcing from the West and that business is growing. World renown companies like Samsung, Nokia, Canon, Intel, GemTek Technology are increasing their business in the country. SK Telecom and the Russian telecoms are as well as Hutchinson Telecommunications have a presence in Vietnam.

In the last three years, the telecommunications sector has grown almost 10% a year. It is possible to see that there will be a leapfrogging in the revenue stream in the country. Further domestic telecommunications companies have grown and are lining up new business and in fact expansion and going to the export base. Mobile and broadband are two sectors that are driving forces in the industry. In many respects, my earlier comparison with Israel is gaining ground. Israel had agriculture as #1 item; Israel had no oil but Vietnam has oil. Telecommunications is an important sector in both countries.

By the middle of June 2012 Vietnam through its investment company Saigon Securities organized a conference in New York City. Diver Industries were participating in the venture. Saigon Securities incorporated in April 2012 and established an ETF in the West with assets of $300 million. The likelihood is that the VNM , the ETF will grow to $1 billion by the end of 2015.

The following list of major banking and brokerage companies are listed in a separate chapter. Since 2000 when the stock market opened, until now, nearly all securities transactions are transacted on the Vietnam stock market appear through the banking firm of BIDV Bank. A description of BIDV Financial is listed in the table below.

An investment bank VNDIREXCT Securities has meaningful numbers and a market cap of $1 billion. See table below.

If I have to project the future of Vietnam, you obviously have to think of what country of that size and history and populated by hard working people is capable of achieving.

My intuition is that even though America got to know Vietnam through the lengthy, bloody war but thinking those days as I lived through that period , the American people always wished that the Vietnam War did not exist. America never wanted any territory from Vietnam but they couldn’t end the war. Now 40 years later – 40 years after Nixon signed the peace agreement, there is a warm feeling in the United States by individuals and in fact by leading politicians who were alive those days and would like to see a friendship with Vietnam – political as well as economic friendship.

The political friendship is a close relationship perhaps with the Peterson Institute and through the diplomatic channels. An economic development is through the investment banks. The Vietnam stock exchange obviously needs publicity and needs investors. The fact that there is a ETF and the description of the so-called stock market or country figures put Vietnam as a favorable investment opportunity. It only has one negative – the 20% inflation rate which I believe the government policy is attempting to lower. At the same time the stocks in Vietnam are cheap and I list them in the ETF figures.

Compared to the Far East where America has great interest, Vietnam is #1 in the so-called peninsula; its only more powerful partner is Singapore. Just like Indonesia, India, China – Vietnam is likely to grow and eventually will become a multibillion dollar economy. Its agriculture and outsourcing business and oil industry – if it is coordinated through its banking system and if this banking system becomes interrelated with the West, we may see Vietnam which has emerged from the Middle Ages and bloody conflicts into a new era where like Israel it will take it proper position in the world.

Market Vector Vietnam – ETF
An ETF of Vietnam only in the 21st Century

The fact that Vietnam has a stock market is acceptable to the world. After all, a country of 91 million people has corporations of various kinds. We pick a number of public companies and in the table below:

Top 10 Holdings

  • Beo Viet Holdings
  • Vincom Joint Stock Company
  • Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam
  • PetroVietnam Fertilizer & Chemicals Corp.
  • Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank
  • Pha Lai Thermal Power Joint Stock Company
  • PetroVietnam Technical Services Corp.
  • Premier Oil PLC
  • Gemuda Bhd

The statistical description of the Vietnam stock market is quite impressive but for a young country the figures, to some extent, lack credibility. At the same time, a thorough analysis of the individual companies represents enormous gross potentials. Vietnam has undoubtedly entered the DIGITAL AGE.

Quick Facts

( 2011 Data)

Population: 89.3 Million

GDP(PPP) $300 Billion

5.9% growth

5- year compound annual growth 6.5%

$3,359 per capita

Unemployment: 2.3%

Inflation ( CPI) 18.7%

FDI Inflow: $$7.4 Billion

Public Debt: 38.0% of GDP

Market Vectors ETF

During the month of December 2012, Vietnam’s market was up 9.6% and over January the Market Vectors Vietnam ETF ( VNM) is up over 20%.

Vietnam is a volatile market and its fundamentals are:

  • Not a Democracy by a Long Shot
  • Stock Market is Highly Concentrated- Financials, largely state-owned banks, account for about 50% of the market. Strict rules limit foreign ownership of stocks to 49% and foreign investors can own only 30% of the financials. There are 827 stock in the exchange, however liquidity in the bottom 600 of this list is minimal.
  • The main Attractions: The Peopele and Underground Marekt Economy- Vietnam’s enterpreneurial and youthful population of 90 Million plus is the key reason to invest in Vietnam. The country offers good value and as it evolves into one of Asia’s lowest cost-manufacturing hubs with wages lower than a third in China. With a 97% literacy rate and ample natural resources , Vietnam has a vibrant underground economy which produces most of its growth. In summary, Vietnam offers investors huge potential if its government loosens its controls.
  • An Intelligent Invetor Strategy for Vitnam- Buy into Vietnam when it is down and not when it is surging.

However, it seems that Vietnam is not only in the 21st Century but it is in the digital age. The Vietnam ETF would sound as if the Vatican established a new home in Ho Chi Minh City. The leading companies which are primarily listed in the ETF are known in the Far East but what brings up the achievement and the development and the success is the market vector ETF which has performed recklessly in the last few months between October 2012 and February 13, 2013 the price has increased approximately 100%. It has a value of nearly $300 million. The only intelligent comparison we would like to bring in is Russia about 15 years ago when the Russian market was selling one times earnings and the greatest billionaires in the world were created by the possibilities of Mr. Yeltzin’s government in the Russia.

Politically, we look for the same atmosphere in Ho Chi Minh City in 2013, 2014, 2015 as before except that the compounded growth rate may create sometime in this decade a billion dollar ownership in the ETF and the price could go from $24 to well over $100.

Anyhow, in February 2013, Vietnam’s ETF is part of the world’s 1200 ETF’s. It is the greatest revolution in the history of stock markets over the last 50 years. It is likely to retain its momentum and as such the country which was only known for its political rivalries and tragedies is now shining in the 21st Century being a member of the club with the gold ETF’s. In the past 10 years it was Mr. Paulson and George Soros who used ETF’s. The question is what will happen to the Vietnam ETF in the coming 10 years?



Information contained herein is based on data obtained from recognized statistical services, issuers reports or communications or other sources believed to be reliable. However, such information has not been verified by us and we do not make any representation to its accuracy or completeness. Any statement non-factual in nature constitutes only current opinions which are subject to change. BERAL INC. or their officers, directors, analysts or employees may have positions in the securities or commodities referred to herein, and may as principal or agent buy and sell such securities or commodities. An employee, analyst, officer or a director of BERAL INC. may serve as a director for companies mentioned in this report. Neither the information nor any comment expressed shall constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or commodities mentioned herein. There may be instances when fundamental, technical and competitive opinions may not be in concert. This firm may from time to time perform investment banking or other services for or which investment banking or other businesses from any company mentioned in this report.



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"Midway Gold
Posted March 23, 2006 

"Harvest Gold"
Posted March 2, 2006 
"Sparton Resources"
Posted March 1, 2006 

"Interview with
Robert McEwen-
U.S. Gold Corporation
Posted February 22, 2006 

"A Tribute to
Rudy Giuliani
Posted February 15, 2006
"Your Money Is Not Yours"
-Enron & Martin Siegel, Esq.

Posted February 9, 2006

"Other People"s Money -Enron & Martin Siegel, Esq."
Posted January 28, 2006

"Northern Star Mining"
Posted January 16, 2006 
"Sonesta International Hotels Corporation"
Posted December 29, 2005 

"The Currency of Mass Destruction"
Posted December 5, 2005
"Bunker Hunt-Silver-China"
Posted November 28, 2005

"50 Relatives Worse Than Yours"
Posted November 14, 2005

"Then And Now"
Posted November 9, 2005 

"The Business of Hungary is Business!"
Posted October 31, 2005

"Mr. Prime Minister"
Posted October 13, 2005
"U.S. Gold Corp."
Posted September 29, 2005

Posted September 23, 2005

"Mr Clarke -
Call In The Boys"

Posted September 12, 2005
"A Letter To
President Bush"

Posted September 8, 2005

"Mr. Smith Goes To Hungary"
Posted September 1, 2005
"Orko Gold"
Posted August 18, 2005

 "Near Hit"
Posted August 16, 2005

"An African Queen"
Posted August 11, 2005

"1848 and Beyond"
Posted August 4, 2005



Andrew Racz. 300 East 54 Street, Suite 26C, New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 319-6949 Fax: (212) 753-1944. E-mail:

Copyright © 2011 Andrew Racz. All Rights Reserved.