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VinaCapital's next frontier

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VinaCapital CEO Don Lam speaks on Monday in Phnom Penh. The group has launched an ambitious Cambodian push.

Investment group VinaCapital has launched a Cambodian subsidiary, allocating US$100 million for investments in the Kingdom.

“Cambodia is the next frontier market, and we can see a southern economic corridor forming between Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam,” VinaCapital Group chief executive officer Don Lam said, at a launch event at the capital’s Sofitel hotel on Monday night.
 
“Now is the right time [to invest].”
Established in Vietnam in 2003 with an initial $10 million investment, London AIM-listed VinaCapital Group funds now have $1.7 billion, according to a press release.

The firm has already put money towards Cambodian projects, including a $35 million investment in a Kratie province sugar venture, in conjunction with other investors from India, Singapore and Vietnam.

VinaCapital has now allocated $100 million for Cambodia, to be invested over the next few years, according to Don Lam.

“I do hope to put the money to work,” he said. “Infrastructure investment is what we are keen on.”

He also expressed interest in investing in the forthcoming Cambodia Stock Exchange (CSX), scheduled to launch in July.

“We hope the new stock exchange will be what we’re focusing on,” he said.

Continuous fundraising will be largely centred from its Singapore office, while its Cambodia office in Phnom Penh’s Canadia Tower will source and manage its investments.

“Cambodia is very business friendly, and its open economy is recognised by investors,” he said.

VinaCapital manages three closed-end funds trading on the AIM – the VinaCapital Vietnam Opportunity Fund, the VinaLand Limited real estate fund, and Vietnam Infrastructure Limited infrastructure-focused fund.

The funds traded for US$1.91, $0.99, and $0.38 per share respectively on the AIM exchange yesterday.

VinaCapital will operate under its VictoryCapital subsidiary in Cambodia, said country head Simon Luu.

“VinaCapital – through VictoryCapital – seeks to make similar investments in Cambodia that will enhance the economy, and in doing so, create prosperity for the people of Cambodia over the coming years,” he said.

VinaCapital chairman Horst Geicke said it would like to launch a dedicated Cambodia fund in the future.

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