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KPMG says Vietnam still prospective for FDI   2009-04-16 - VietNamNet/SGT

The international consulting group KPMG has highlighted Vietnam as a prospective destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) from developed countries in a large swathe of business areas despite the slump worldwide.

A man works on a refrigerator production line at Tatung Co. Ltd. in My Phuoc Industrial Park in the southern province of Binh Duong.

In a just-released statement, the auditing, taxation and advisory group of services firms says that “whilst the propensity and capacity of foreign investors to do deals in emerging markets is generally down…, we still see attractive opportunities in Vietnam. Sectors that are attracting attention are fast moving consumer goods, media and entertainment, telecoms, financial services, infrastructure and real estate.”

The statement from KPMG Vietnam says the country “still possesses many investment opportunities for the medium to long term investors” in the above-mentioned sectors for those investors who are prepared to spend the time to study the market.

KPMG observed that developed-to-emerging market deals has fallen sharply in recent times, especially in the second half of last year, but the FDI disbursement in Vietnam will remain positive.

Citing the latest Emerging Markets International Acquisition Tracker (EMIAT) from KPMG’s Advisory practice, the statement shows that second half of 2008 saw a 37% decline in developed-to-emerging deals. For the six months mentioned, only 230 such deals were recorded by EMIAT, the lowest figure since the beginning of 2003.

EMIAT monitors deals in 11 developed economies and 11 emerging, high growth economies, the latter group including Vietnam, Brazil, China, Central and Eastern Europe, Hong Kong, India, Russia, and South Korea among others.

Truc Ba Ha, M&A Advisory Services at KPMG in Vietnam, says that FDI commitments are expected to decline to an estimated US$20 billion this year in comparison to US$64 billion pledged for 2008. However, “FDI disbursements in 2009 are expected to be similar to 2008 level at approximately US$11 billion, an indicator that the appetite for Vietnam still remains strong.”

Ian Gomes, Chairman of KPMG’s High Growth Markets practice for KPMG in the UK, commented: “We are seeing a marked decline in terms of deals into the emerging, high growth markets. However, this is more indicative of the purchasers struggling for credit than it is of the emerging markets losing their appeal… The trend of increasing capital flows from west to east is not cancelled, it is merely postponed.”

Truc Ba Ha notes that “Vietnam will continue to be an attractive emerging market in both mid and long terms for local and foreign investors since many of the fundamental characteristics still remain such as favorable demographics, large private sector, WTO commitments, business legislative reforms, large untapped rural market.”

In the year’s first quarter, FDI commitments in Vietnam exceeded US$6 billion, while FDI disbursements amounted to some US$1.5 billion, according to figures from the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

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