Currencies

Dollar rises as markets turn eyes to Opec

European bourses are mirroring a tentative Asia session as the dollar continues to be supported by better US economic data and investors turn their attention to a meeting between Opec members. Sentiment is underpinned by US index futures suggesting the S&P 500 will gain 3 points to 2,207.3 when trading gets under way later in […]

Continue Reading

Banks

Basel Committe fail to sign off on latest bank reform measures

Banking regulators have failed to sign off the latest package of global industry reforms, leaving a question mark hanging over bankers who complain they have faced endlessly evolving regulation since the financial crisis. Policymakers had hoped to agree the contentious new measures at a crunch meeting held in Chile this week, but a senior official […]

Continue Reading

Financial

Travis Perkins and Polymetal to lose out in FTSE 100 reshuffle

Builders’ merchant Travis Perkins and mining company Polymetal face relegation from the FTSE 100 after their recent performances were hit by political events. The share price of Travis Perkins has dropped 29 per cent since the UK voted to leave the EU in June, as economic uncertainty has sparked concerns among some investors about the […]

Continue Reading

Economy

Eurozone inflation climbs to highest since April 2014

A welcome dose of good news before next week’s big European Central Bank meeting. Year on year inflation in the eurozone has climbed to its best rate since April 2014 this month, accelerating to 0.6 per cent from 0.5 per cent on the back of the rising cost of services and the fading effect of […]

Continue Reading

Financial

Wealth manager Brewin Dolphin hit by restructuring costs

Profits at wealth manager Brewin Dolphin were hit by restructuring costs as the company continued to shift its focus towards portfolio management. The FTSE 250 company reported pre-tax profits of £50.1m in the year to September 30, down 17.9 per cent from £61m the previous year. Finance director Andrew Westenberger said its 2015 figure was […]

Continue Reading

Categorized | Property

VinaCapital to sell Hanoi Metropole stake


Posted on November 28, 2012

A stake in the Hanoi Metropole, Vietnam’s best-known hotel, is being put up for sale by fund manager VinaCapital as it tries to sell premium assets after the collapse of the Communist country’s property market

.

VinaCapital’s London-traded Vietnam Opportunity fund has appointed Jones Lang LaSalle, the property agents, to market its 50 per cent stake in the 365-room, French colonial-era hotel, said David Dropsey, VinaCapital’s investor relations manager.

    The fund manager has told investors that its stake in the Metropole was worth $58.7m at book value.

    Real estate agents said that it would not be easy to sell the stake for a significant premium over that price given the distressed nature of the Vietnamese economy. The other 50 per cent of the hotel is owned by the Hanoi government, which exercises full control over the business.

    VinaCapital is one of several boutique fund managers that raised billions of dollars from international investors when Vietnam was one of hottest emerging markets, before 2008.

    As with its main rivals Dragon Capital and Indochina Capital, VinaCapital’s internationally listed funds have tumbled in value as the Vietnamese economy has hit the buffers, weighed down by inflation crises, rising bad debts and the bursting of the property and stock market bubbles.

    With many Vietnam-focused funds persistently trading at big discounts to their reported net asset values, fund managers are under pressure from shareholders to make disposals.

    Investors who have looked at the Metropole, where Charlie Chaplin, Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene all stayed, said that it was an attractive trophy asset, but they would think twice about paying a big premium for VinaCapital’s stake because of the extent of the Hanoi government’s control.

    The Metropole stake is the second-biggest investment held by the Vietnam Opportunity fund, which has a market capitalisation of about $550m.

    This month VinaLand, another London-listed fund managed by VinaCapital, passed a shareholder continuation vote after vowing to make no new investments and return all surplus cash to investors over the next three years.

    Some international investors have been looking to pick up distressed property assets at bargain prices.

    But Marc Townsend, who heads the Vietnam office of property agent CB Richard Ellis, said many foreign investors remained uncomfortable with the complex ownership structures and legal uncertainties in Vietnam.

    “People come every week to look at these assets, but when they peel back the skin, they don’t get quite the ownership structure or control that you want,” he said. “So a lot of these properties will never be acquired by Singaporean funds or Japanese investment trusts.”