Vietnam Holding (VNH) has quietly undergone a major overhaul during the last two years, making it more shareholder-friendly and putting it on a stronger footing.
However, in a world that is increasingly conscious of corporate responsibilities, it is VNH’s strongly-held environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) principles that might be the key attraction for prospective investors. These are right at the core of its investment process (it is a signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment – see page 12). The manager believes that investee companies that focus on these will provide superior performance over the longer term. Vietnam benefits from a number of major structural growth drivers (the manager believes that Vietnam can become a top 20 global economy by 2050) and, at present, valuations are close to long-term averages. In a bid to capture the benefits of this growth, VNH’s portfolio is focused on three key themes: industrialisation, the consumer and urbanisation.
VNH aims to provide investors with long-term capital appreciation by investing in a portfolio of high growth companies in Vietnam. These should come at an attractive valuation and demonstrate strong environmental, social and corporate governance awareness. It achieves this by investing primarily in publicly-quoted Vietnamese equities, but it can also invest in unlisted companies and can hold the securities of foreign companies if a majority of their assets and/or operations are based in Vietnam.