Will Vietnam become a production factory for Thai billionaires?
  • | VietNamNet, | April 13, 2015 08:57 PM
Analysts believe that after swallowing a number of Vietnamese companies, Thai billionaires will take the next steps to turn Vietnam into their production bases from which Thai products will be distributed globally.

Vietnam has become a favorite destination point for many Thai billionaires.

More recently, ThaiBev, the beverage group owned by Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, the third richest Thai billionaire with total assets of $11.3 billion, has offered to buy 40 percent of Sabeco, the largest Vietnamese brewery.

With the expected price of VND80,000 per share, ThaiBev would have to pay $1 billion to buy the amount of shares it wants, if the deal succeeds.

Amata, the group which has developed industrial zones in Vietnam over the last 20 years, has announced its plan to invest $5 billion in the new city project in Quang Ninh province. 

The project, expected to cover an area of 6,400 hectares and employ 300,000 workers, would be a complex of industrial zones, logistics center, scientific research centers, education establishments and international exhibitions.

Acquiring 49 percent of stakes of Nguyen Kim, a home appliance distribution center is not the final goal for Central Group. The Thai group has revealed its ambition of spending billions of dollars on the projects to process farm and seafood produce in Vietnam for global distribution.

Meanwhile, PTT, the oil and gas group, is moving ahead with its mammoth $22 billion petrochemistry and oil refinery project in Nhon Hoi Economic Zone in Binh Dinh Province of Vietnam.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), Thailand ranked  10th among the largest foreign investors in Vietnam by March 2015 with 374 licensed projects, capitalized at $6.7 billion.

The Thai registered investment projects are in many important business fields of Vietnam, from processing industry, manufacturing, seafood and farm produce, construction to distribution, accommodation and food services.

What’s next?

Pham Hong Hai, managing director of HSBC Vietnam, thinks that in the next five years, Thai large corporations will turn Vietnam into a production base for Thai branded goods for export to other countries. 

Analysts noted that now is the right time for Thai ‘big sharks’ to swallow Vietnamese businesses, which have been operating ineffectively and now have to sell part of their assets as they poured money into too many different business fields. This will give Thai investors  a golden opportunity to acquire existing production facilities at reasonable prices.

foreign direct investment in Vietnam has decreased as other ASEAN countries have emerged as formidable rivals. 

Therefore, Thai investors have more opportunities to march towards Vietnam, which is not only large market but also the gateway to the southern Chinese market.

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