Vietnam - Emerging Dragon
Vietnam's economy grew by around 8.5% last year, one of Asia's most impressive rates, having grown by an average of 7.5% annually in the previous decade. As the country develops at breakneck speed, bank lending is expanding fast (by 37% last year) and there is massive demand for building materials and equipment.
Vietnam is attracting increasing – some would say "frantic" – interest from international investors, lifting its stock market by 144% last year.
Government finances are healthy, public indebtedness is low, foreign trade balances are positive, the savings rate is high and rising – providing strong economic foundations. But perhaps the most exciting thing about Vietnam for international investors is that the country has so much future growth potential.
Annual GDP per person is still only $790, compared to Thailand's $3,420 and South Korea's $20,240. A survey made not long ago reported that semi-skilled workers cost only $73 a month to employ, compared to $375 in Thailand.
Although the stock market has exploded over the past year, reaching a market capitalization of about $14 billion now, it's still tiny compared to its regional neighbors.
US Retail Investors EMBRACE THE DRAGON via PRVH
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