Since our founding in 1994, Dragon Capital Group has focused on developing the financial markets primarily of Vietnam, but also of the surrounding Indochina region. Dragon Capital’s shareholders include the company’s own founders, management and employees. With a head count of nearly 100 we have attracted leading domestic and international professionals to build out teams for origination, portfolio management and research, fund accounting and operations, legal services, risk management and client support. These systems reflect market best practices and give great comfort to investors looking to allocate funds to what is often referred to as a “Frontier Market”.
Dragon Capital is viewed as a pioneer for having made the very first Government-approved investments into the Vietnamese private sector and privatising SOEs. Subsequently our Funds have built the definitive collection of holdings in Vietnam’s listed blue chips. Growing up with Vietnam’s capital markets, we have helped to bring international standards of corporate governance and management professionalism to the local financial industry. We work hard to align investees’ interests with our own investment objectives and in furtherance of this Dragon holds board seats, or has observer status, at all companies where we own a significant stake.
Dragon Capital has also committed heavily to domestic financial services to become a fully functioning investment platform. In 2003, Dragon Capital and our partner, Saigon Commercial Bank, were awarded a license to establish Vietnam’s first local asset-management company, Vietfund Managers (VFM). VFM is ranked number one in its field. In 2004, Dragon invested alongside the Saigon municipal government to take a 30% stake in brokerage firm Ho Chi Minh City Securities Company (HSC). HSC was the second-largest broker on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange and the top broker on the Hanoi Stock Exchange in 2014.
Investing directly in the listed market in Vietnam can be troublesome for many reasons, not least the fact that the market operates on a system of foreign ownership limits which means many of the blue chip names are simply unavailable for purchase by new investors. Many managers choose to partner with an experienced institution on the ground. As such, today Dragon Capital and its affiliates manage some US$1.2bn in listed stocks, debt, fixed income and real estate on behalf of clients. In addition to proprietary solutions for institutions, sovereign wealth funds and family offices, there are five offshore-quoted funds available to investors. One of those is the Vietnam Equity UCITS Fund which was launched in 2013 as the first actively managed UCITS IV compliant fund on Vietnam. It holds a diversified portfolio of blue chips and small cap stocks accommodating clients who need a more closely regulated fund with scheduled liquidity.