VIETNAM is among the top three Asean countries attracting private equity (PE) investment in terms of deal value, according to a report released by the auditing and business consulting firm Grant Thornton.
The report noted that Vietnam saw 38 PE transactions in 2018 with total value of more than US$1.6bil (RM6.7bil), after Singapore and Indonesia. The figures showed a 41% increase in the number of transactions and a nearly three-fold rise in value compared to 2017.
Notably, PE investments in start-ups made up 71% of the total number of transactions, up 56% compared to 2017.
Technology remains at a high momentum, accounting for 40% of the total deals.
The report cited the firm’s survey results which showed the top six most attractive private equity investment sectors in Vietnam for the next 12 months to be fintech, education, green/renewable energy, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, and transportation and logistics.
According to the report, Vietnam’s e-commerce market size grew swiftly at a CAGR of 87% during the 2015-18 period. By 2025, it is forecast to reach US$15bil.
Vietnam’s ratio of e-commerce economy GMV/GDP is 4%, far surpassing Asean’s average (2.8%) with very strong competition among market participants.
A rapidly emerging middle class is a key driver for investment in education in Vietnam. Vietnam’s education expenditures are 5.7% of GDP, ranking 29th among 126 countries in the world.
Despite the market’s attractiveness, the Grant Thornton survey showed that high valuation and lack of attractive deal opportunities remained the top two challenges for target identification to most PE firms looking at Vietnam, which is consistent with the region.
Another key challenge is the low acceptance of companies’ owners for PE funding. Concerns about potential conflicts in vision and mission, together with difficulty in sharing power, have caused private firms to hesitate co-operating with PE investors.
Strict binding terms and conditions were the next significant concern.
Excessive demand for financial and non-financial disclosures was also another critical concern of private company owners.
If those challenges could be solved, Vietnam would rise higher in the region’s PE attraction ranking, experts said. — Viet Nam News/ANN