VinaCapital’s Prime Properties for Sale
Financial Times reports that VinaCapital is disposing their 50% stake in Hanoi’s Metropole Hotel, a prime heritage asset not unlike the Raffles Hotel, amidst a collapse in the Vietnamese property market. The other interesting announcement is VinaLand (a fund managed by VinaCapital) will not be making any new investments as well.
Vietnam Investment Review further reports Andy Ho of VinaCapital saying the Sheraton Nha Trang and Movenpick Saigon plus several other residential developments are up for sale as well. Other non-hotel assets for divestment include an industrial park, industrial services area and sea port.
I vividly recall a similar situation in 2009 when evaluating office buildings to purchase in Singapore. Several offshore property funds were disposing assets in prime locations for close to 50% of the purchase price paid a few years earlier while local investors and the well-capitalized were out shopping for bargains. Needless to say, the property market turned up after that.
Vietnam Investment Interest?
If investor interest can be measured by Google keyword trends the chart below says alot about searches for ‘VinaCapital’, ‘Dragon Capital‘, ‘Indochina Capital‘. Searches peaked in 2007 and have been on a downtrend since. 2012 search volumes are less than half of peak searches.
On the other hand contrast this against Google searches for Vietnamese coastal tourism destinations. Without doubt interest in these locations have increased significantly.
Investor group think and extreme sentiment is a well documented characteristic of any market. Are we looking at a Vietnamese property market bottom here as well?