Thai investors are bolster operation in Vietnam in 2024

Vietnam continues to be a magnet for Thai investors who are spreading their wings to the neighbouring country to tap into lucrative opportunities.

Last week, SCB X Public Company Limited (SCBX), Thailand’s fourth-largest bank by assets, announced that it will scoop up all of the charter capital in Home Credit Vietnam for VND20.97 trillion (approximately $860 million). The move is part of the Thai lender’s bid to expand its footprint in Southeast Asia.

Home Credit Vietnam is a part of Home Credit Group, which was established in 1997 in the Czech Republic. The Home Credit Group operates in multiple countries across Asia and Europe and is owned by PPF Group, an international investment company.

Arthid Nanthawithaya, CEO of SCB X, said, “The acquisition of Home Credit Vietnam marks a significant milestone in SCBX’s journey to become a top regional financial technology group. This strategic acquisition strengthens our presence in the high-growth ASEAN market and also increases value and maximises return to our shareholders in the long term.”

“Vietnam, with its dynamic economy averaging 7.5 per cent GDP growth over the past decade and a tech-savvy population, is a key strategic market for SCBX,” Nanthawithaya said. “This acquisition marks the beginning of SCBX Group’s expansion into Vietnam, a country with a population of over 100 million. Home Credit Vietnam has a 15 million customer base, 14,000 point-of-sale locations, and an experienced management team of European and Vietnamese members.”

She further noted that Home Credit Vietnam will serve as an important base for SCBX Group’s presence in Vietnam and immediately contribute positive bottom line to the group after deal completion. This acquisition also diversifies the group’s income base for future strength, while maintaining a superior capital adequacy ratio both at SCBX and the bank after the completion of the transaction.

The transaction is expected to be completed by the first half of 2025, subject to approval from relevant authorities.

In early February, Central Pattana, Thailand’s leading retail property developer and a member of Thailand’s Central Group, also announced its subsidiary CPN Global Co., Ltd. has set up a presence in Vietnam.

CPN Global Vietnam will be involved in real estate management to develop future projects on behalf of Central Pattana. With a registered capital of VND20 billion ($815,245), CPN Global Vietnam is a one-member limited liability company, in which CPN Global Co., Ltd. holds a 100 per cent stake.

Central Pattana’s foray into Vietnam is also aligned with the expansion of its sister firm Central Retail in the country. Central Retail has a plan to invest $1.45 billion in Vietnam from 2023 to 2027. The group aims to reach a sales target of $4.33 billion by 2027 and nearly double the number of its stores to 600.

Likewise, WHA Group, Thailand’s leading developer of industrial estates, logistics facilities, industrial utilities and power, is continuing its expansion in Vietnam. Besides WHA Industrial Zone 1 - Nghe An, of which phase 1 has been highly successful with more than 77 per cent of tenancy reached, and the second phase currently under development planning, the company has plans for a further three industrial zone projects.

In addition, the company has set a target of reaching total sales of 178 million cubic metres for both water supply and wastewater management, divided into 142 million in Thailand and 36 million in Vietnam. This represents a growth rate of over 14 per cent, driven by the expansion of all types of water services in new WHA industrial estates and outside, as well as the continuous growth in demand for water from customers in Vietnam.

Thai Ambassador to Vietnam Nikorndej Balankura told local media that Thailand has become Vietnam’s largest trading partner in ASEAN with total trade volume of nearly $20 billion. Thai investments in Vietnam have also tripled to 735 projects with a total value of more than $14 billion, making it the ninth largest foreign investor in the country.

“Looking ahead, numerous promising prospects are expected in 2024 for Thailand and Vietnam as both sides join hands in paving way for the elevation of their relations to a new height of a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership”, which will contribute to comprehensively strengthening and deepening bilateral relations as well as subregional and regional stability and prosperity,” he said.

Vietnam Investment Review