U.S. $40 billion private equity giant eyes investment opportunities in Vietnam

By Toan Dao   April 1, 2016 | 03:45 pm GMT+7

U.S. global equity firm Warburg Pincus, which manages more than $40 billion in private equity assets, is looking for opportunities to invest in Vietnam’s financial services, particularly in local commercial banks, the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Thursday.

Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung met with Timothy Franz Geithner, president of Warburg Pincus and former Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, in Hanoi on March 31. Geithner’s visit to Vietnam also aimed to implement the cooperation strategy between Warburg Pincus and Vietnam-based VinaCapital, the ministry said.

Warburg Pincus has various experience in energy, technology, property, retail and financial services and is seeking long-term investment opportunites in Vietnam, Geithner said during the meeting. He asked the finance ministry to provide Warburg Pincus with updates on the investment environment in Vietnam.

Dung said this is the best time for foreign investors to invest in Vietnam as the government is striving to develop various markets in its financial sector. He urged U.S. companies to increase their investments and take advantage of opportunities brought about by several free trade agreements that Vietnam has signed.

Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest publicly-traded real estate operator and one of the largest companies by market capitalization, in June last year announced that a consortium led by an affiliate of Warburg Pincus, has completed a follow-on minority investment of about $100 million in Vincom Retail, a subsidiary of Vingroup and Vietnam’s largest owner and operator of shopping malls. The follow-on investment brought the total investment as of June 2015 by the Warburg Pincus consortium to $300 million, making it one of the largest investments by a private equity firm ever in Vietnam. The Warburg Pincus consortium made the first investment of $200 million to help build Vincom Retail in May 2013.

Warburg Pincus was founded in 1966. It has invested over $55 billion in over 750 companies in more than 35 countries around the world.