Market Recap – Vietnam outperforms amid regional slump

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PetroVietnam Look towards Block B Rigs and Oil Recovery as Savior

September 2015

Vietnam outperforms amid regional slump


  • Currency concerns spur foreign outflows
  • Listing of yarn maker, Century 21 Fiber (STK)
  • Initiate on PVC (oil & gas drilling fluids) and VSH (hydro power)

Vietnam outperforms amid regional slump. The VNI finished the third quarter down 5.1% after closing out September with a slight slippage of 0.37% where low volume range-trading prevailed in most days. Vietnam’s stock market performance looked relatively solid in the wake of global turbulence that has hit other frontier and emerging markets in the region – the MSCI Emerging+Frontier Index is off about 12% for the third quarter. While confronted with the same concerns hitting those other markets such as a strengthening dollar and slowing Chinese economy, Vietnam’s market was buttressed by strong economic growth of 6.8% in the third quarter, stability (inflation of less than 1%) and resilient export growth ~10%. The main index is still up 3.12% year-to-date and continues to trade at a very attractive 12mo trailing PER of 11x vs. valuations of 17x-22x of markets in the ASEAN 5.

Currency concerns spur foreign outflows. Foreigner investors net sold USD 42 million this month, pushing the year-to-date inflows down to USD 160 million through 9M2015 vs. USD 256 million in 9M2014. The outflows can be attributed to currency fears sparked by the recent devaluations of the dong and widely-expected US interest rate hike before the end of the year. The dong is 5.5% weaker compared to the beginning of the year, although it pales in comparison to the 12% and 25% decline against the USD in the currencies of Indonesia and Malaysia, respectively. Foreign investors accounted for barely 12% of turnover in September.

Small, midcap stocks best performers this month. With foreigners out of the picture, retail investors were very much in control as they drove the VN Small Cap and VN-Mid Cap sub-indices up 2.73% and 1.84% in September respectively. The large cap VN30 index was down 1.0%. Top gainers this month, with on-month gains of 16-20%, included mid-caps in the construction materials and logistics space such as BMP, DQC, VCS and TMT and VSC, which appear to be bets on the real estate recovery and TPP talks.

STK is the largest domestic synthetic yarn (PES FY) producer, occupying a sweet spot in the global garment and textile value chain. On 29/9/2015, STK listed 42 million shares at a price of VND 29,000 (market cap. of ~USD 54m), which translated to a FY15 PER of 11.0x and a FY16 PER of only 8.9x based on our forecast which looks attractive given our projected 2014-2017 EPS CAGR of 13%.

Initiate on PVC (Underperform). Petro Vietnam Mud Drilling is the monopoly supplier of drilling fluids for the domestic oil & gas industry. However, prospects look dim for a meaningful recovery in oil prices which will lead to material earnings decline over the next two years. Furthermore, PVC is trading at a premium to other domestic service providers on a PER basis.

Initiate on VSH (Market Perform). Vinh Son-Song Hung is a holding of the two eponymous hydropower assets totalling 136 MW. The company is currently entangled in a litigation with a former contractor for its new 220 MW hydro power plant. The project has been delayed for 5 years and an unfavourable ruling would increase the investment cost, which is already mired by cost overruns. Nonetheless, VSH remains one of the most efficient power generators in the country thanks in part to the higher-than-average rainfall levels in Central Vietnam.

Market Watch: In October, we expect broader sentiment to be shaped by a myriad of factors, both external and internal. Further slowdown in China, TPP delays and more second guessing on the US interest rate hike decision (Oct 27-28) could put off investors and prolong the current sideways trend. Meanwhile, at home, 3Q corporate earnings expected in late Oct/early Nov and the long awaited list of conditional businesses (for foreign ownership limit considerations) slated to be released by the Ministry of Planning and Investment could provide short-term catalysts.

Market Activity

VN Index 3 Month Performance


ASEAN 5 Major Indices PER, 12mo trailing


ASEAN 5 Major Indices YTD Performance


Performance by Sector


Top Gainers in Month


Top Laggards in Month






Corporate Updates

ACB: Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank

Senior Manager, Long Ngo,

Stock Performance MTD +6.5% / YTD +26.8%

Confident strides not seen since 2011

We issued an update on ACB on 11st Sept 2015 to raise our target price to VND 20,300 and rate the stock at M-PF after released 1H15 results show its most confidence in 4 years.

ACB has our wholehearted support when these two events fall in place: 1) total resolution of debts of six companies associated with former Chairman in an “appetisable” manner (net exposure to six companies as of 2Q15 at VND5,292b vs ACB’s collateral valuation of VND5,340b) and 2) movement on FOL for banks. ACB is guiding for 1) to happen towards the end of this year and we think 2) might follow the pattern of legal reform this year by appearing without notice or at least to present itself in 2016.

1H15’s loan yields dropped 120 bps (annualized from 6m15) vs YE14 but ACB still has the second highest loan yields at 8.1%. Retail is increasingly competitive. Nevertheless, its direct SME/retail competitors are hobbled and the combination of strong CAR position and strong management still puts it at the front of our non-SOE bank picks.

Our FY15 forecast is for ACB to be back to industry leading credit growth of 18.7%, NIMs recovery of 3.19% and basically flat provision expense of VND968b to get NPAT forecast of VND1,238b vs guidance of VND1,300b.

BID: Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam JSC

Senior Manager, Long Ngo,

Stock Performance MTD +0.8% / YTD +87.4%

A host of issues results in us taking pause on BIDV

We issued an update on BID on 17th Sept 2015 to raise our target price to VND 20,300 and rate the stock at U-PF after release of 1H15 results.

By virtue of certain concentrated lending, BID becomes more susceptible than VCB and CTG to shifting global macroeconomic conditions. A second point of concern is that BID takes the mantle for largest sale of debt to VAMC in 1H15 (on a relative basis) in our coverage universe. While we like the NPL classification philosophy of BID and its trends in accrued interest, we still reiterate our preference for CTG as a second SOE pick because of it has lower negative sentiment headline risk and better NIM dynamics.

Working on the guidance of BIDV of full govt take-up in the rights issue, (delivery of rights issue shares will happen at the latest on 11/10/15), the free-float will be 4.72%. Issues of stock supply surfaces in the 4Q15 when non-govt MHB shareholders are delivered 30m BID shares as part of M&A consideration and non-govt BID shareholders (post-merger entity) receives circa 13m shares from rights issue settlement (assuming 100% take-up). BID updated on the progress of negotiation with shortlisted strategic investors (all we know is that they are from an OECD country) and if it is successful, it’s a rubber stamp that BID has passed a rigorous due diligence process.

The issue of CAR ratio has been and will be for the foreseeable future a buzzing issue. We model conservatively for the strategic investor to close in 2016. Having more of a CAR headroom will certainly help it take the fight more directly against VCB and CTG.

We model BID with loan growth flexibility in the next two years (FY15E of 16.4% growth) before dipping down to terminal loan growth of 13.2% (the emphasis being retail loan growth during forecast period), NIMs to range from 2.5% to 2.9% during the forecast period and mid-range long-term credit cost. FY15E provision charge is estimated to be VND7,968b to arrive at PBT of VND7,337b vs BID’s guidance of VND 7,500b.

CTG: Vietnam JSC Bank for Industry and Trade

Senior Manager, Long Ngo,

Stock Performance MTD +3.1% / YTD +42.7%

A clearer second pick than ever

We issued an update on CTG on 28th Aug 2015 to raise our target price to VND 19,250 and rate the stock at M-PF after release of boosting 1H15 results. Given CTG’s scale, the most important task is to identify problems of scale that will push it off-kilter and at present there is none while its other problems such as low provisioning buffer and relatively high exposure to real estate is only absent in another banking name that some investor find unappealing in terms of valuation.

We applaud the use of subordinated debt to boost CAR (VND4,500b in 2Q15). CTG reported a 2Q15 NPL number of 1.45%, a number that normally triggers scepticism but all our other favoured asset quality metrics are moving in the right direction so we look upon this figure in a benign light. However, the “new normal” of asset classification under Circular 02/2013 will likely see this rise in the coming quarters in spite of generally improving credit conditions.

In the context of surging credit growth (9.25% vs 0.45% for 1H15 vs 1H14), topped-up credit growth quota to 16%, we are fairly sanguine on PBT forecast of circa VND8,600b (unconsolidated with PGB) vs start of year guidance of circa VND7,300b (unconsolidated growth of about 18%).

DXG: Dat Xanh Group

Senior Manager, Anirban Lahiri,

Stock Performance MTD +6.0% / YTD +27.1%

Stellar 1H15 and new project acquisitions boost prospects.

Net revenue grew by 82% and NPAT (after minority interest) grew by 191% in 1H15 versus same period last year to reach VND 384 billion and VND 153 billion, respectively thanks to outstanding brokerage growth and extraordinary income from 2 new project acquisitions at under book value; normalized NPAT growth was still impressive at 111%. Revenue from real estate development was minimal due to slightly delayed hand-over of Sunview Town. In order to support DXG’s continued growth, six new projects were acquired in 1H15, of which TK21 (Luxcity – district 7) launched sales in late August and Tam Thong (district 8) is expected to launch in 4Q15. We raise our target price to VND 21,000 from VND 16,800 to reflect stronger brokerage and construction business growth, as well as to account for the potential from the six new projects that have entered the pipeline and now provide some earnings visibility.

KDH: Khang Dien House

Senior Manager, Anirban Lahiri,

Stock Performance MTD +10.8% / YTD +6.9%

KDH becomes BCI’s largest shareholder with a 20.4% stake

On Sep 25th 2015, KDH announced that it has become the largest shareholder of BCI, holding 17.7m shares which accounts for 20.4% of BCI’s total shares outstanding. From BCI’s trading history, we learned that this transaction happened on Sep 23rd, 2015 and KDH spent a total amount of VND 377.6b on this acquisition, which implies an average price of VND 21,337 per share or a 1% premium to the Sep 22nd closing price. Following this transaction, KDH has now become the largest shareholder of BCI followed by Phuong Nam Bank which holds 16% of the company.

BCI is a reputed developer in Vietnam with more than 350ha of land bank, most of which is clean and located in Binh Chanh District of HCMC, an area which is expected to benefit greatly from urban infrastructure development over the next 3-5 years. Besides its real estate business, the company also holds a 20% stake in the Big C supermarket in Binh Chanh which is a joint-venture with Casino Group from France. For 2015, BCI estimates revenue to reach VND 381b (52.8% increase vs. 2014A) and NPAT to touch VND 120b (23.5% increase vs. 2014A).

We view these developments in a positive light for KDH shareholders. The company has developed a solid execution track record but its project portfolio is heavily skewed in favor of landed properties (largely affordable townhouses and villas) which have higher land utilization rates per dollar of revenue generated and its land bank is small relative to that of most other large listed developers, barring DXG. As BCI’s biggest shareholder, we think KDH can benefit from BCI’s huge lank bank in the south western part of HCMC to supplement KDH’s existing land bank which sits entirely in the eastern part of the city.

However, a lot will depend on the exact model of cooperation between the two companies – KDH could look to cooperate with BCI at a project level and maintain its current level of ownership or look to further increase its stake in the company and take a controlling position. As of now we have limited visibility on this and therefore our 2015 forecast for KDH remains unchanged until KDH provides some concrete details on its cooperation plans with BCI. KDH’s share price closed up nearly 1% on Friday and by another 0.5% today, indicating that the market endorses this move by KDH.

At the Sep 28th 2015 closing price of VND 21,700 per share, KDH is trading at a PER of 12.8x of VCSC’s 2015F EPS of VND 1,701

MBB: Military Commercial JS Bank

Senior Manager, Long Ngo,

Stock Performance MTD +4.1% / YTD +17.9%

Forecast struggles against gust of dilution

We issued an update on MBB on 4th Sept 2015 and rate the stock at M-PF after the release of 1H15 results but our TP remains roughly unchanged since Nov 14 and is set at VND14,700.

We remain aloof to MBB on the basis that 1) still fails to persuade us on strategy going forward after the afterglow of astute treasury dealings in 2012 2) an approach to bad debt classification that sets itself apart from all other banks in our coverage universe (applying a quantitative approach to bad loan classification increases MBB’s 2Q15 NPL figure by 16bps to 2.2% and 2014 VAMC sales much higher than previously thought, coming in at VND3.3t, close with EIB and STB on a relative basis) 3) it essentially lacks the corporate coverage foothold of other SOE banks and has no special advantages in retail banking (the corporate lending front grew 7.7% and contracted 8.2% in 2013 and 2014, respectively).

The good: treasury positions still a boon for NIMs, some aspects of its provisioning policy are conservative, high cash dividend yield, and improvement in CAR upon completion of capital injection from domestic share placement.

Pending settlement of 406m share domestic placement was an entirely domestic affair consisting of USD190.5m raised via a private placement to domestic corporates (consisting of 391m sharesand at an average price of VND11,078 per share) and USD6.7m raised via ESOP program (consisting of 15m shares and at an average price of VND10,000 per share). After private placement, key shareholders include Viettel Group (maintaining its stake at 15%), SCIC (10% stake), Maritime Bank and VCB’s stakes diluted to 8.84% and 7.16% respectively, Viettel Trade and Export-Import Company (4.72% stake), Saigon Newport Corporation (7.65% stake), Vietnam Helicopter Corporation (7.97% stake).

However the most important issue with MBB remains the task of shifting its interesting earning portfolio away from govt bonds and into loans to customers and corporate bonds over the next few years, a task we foresee as incurring more credit cost than the general market consensus perceives.

PVC: PetroVietnam Drilling Mud

Analyst, Tram Ngo,

Stock Performance MTD -5.4% / YTD -19.2%

Waiting for Block B and oil to recover

We initiate on PetroVietnam Drilling Mud (PVC), the monopoly drill fluid supplier in Vietnam, with an U-PF rating and DCF-based TP of VND 16,600. Drilling fluids is PVC’s key business segment contributing up to 97% of net profit. E&P budget cuts have reduced the number of wells to be drilled by 50% to 60 wells in FY15 and we expect a further drop of 33% to 40 wells in FY16. Hence, NPAT is forecasted to decrease by 32% and 53% in FY15 and FY16 respectively.

Consensus calls for little recovery in oil prices over the next two years which leaves growth prospects on PVN’s major project – Block B. This project will require 50-60 wells per year for drilling over the next 10-15 year, which is roughly the average number of wells drilled per year between 2012 and 2014 in all of Vietnam. While we acknowledge its prospects, we exclude Block B from our base case valuation until the contracts materialize. The inclusion of Block B project into valuation could lift target price by 41% vs. base case without it.

VSH: Vinh Son Song Hinh Hydropower

Senior Analyst, Duong Dinh,

Stock Performance MTD +2.1% / YTD +5.9%

Huge growth potential on the horizon but low ROE

We initiate on Vinh Son Song Hinh Hydropower Company (VSH), the most efficient hydro power plant listed delivering highest utilization rate, highest EBITDA margin as well as highest dividend yield (7%).

VSH possesses two plants (Vinh Son and Song Hinh) with combined capacity of 136MW. These are good plants using G7-countries’ machineries & equipments and are located on ideal location (Central of Viet Nam where rainfall is heaviest). VSH’s utilization rate is 30% higher than standard level for hydro power plants.

VSH benefits the most from competitive market. Their CGM price is twice that of their PPA. CGM volume accounts for 17% in 2014 and is expected to rise to 30% in the future.

Upper Kon Tum is one of the few good hydro resources left in Viet Nam which has a promising IRR of 12.7%, NPV of VND 542b and payback period of 8 years. Once coming on-stream, it will drive VSH’s EPS growth at double-digit rate in the first 5 years of operation. Nevertheless, so far Upper Kon Tum is a headache for VSH as it has depressed VSH’s ROE to less than 10% . In addition, VSH is also exposed to the risk of losing VND 600b in ongoing litigation with an ex-contractor of the Upper Kon Tum project.

The share price has seen a modest gain of +5.9% YTD thanks to the signing of official long-term PPA contract applicable since late 2014. Given the absence of news on Upper Kon Tum and rainfall levels, VSH share price has been quite stable.

VIC: Vingroup

Senior Analyst, Phap Dang,

Stock Performance MTD +0.0% / YTD +10.0%

Residential sales delivering on lofty expectations. Two new prime sites secured.

Vingroup released another upbeat update on its residential sales progress, exceeding our expectation and continuing to challenge those who still doubt whether VIC can ride the elevation of the high-end segment and spearhead the property market’s consolidation post-crisis. 7M15 residential sales reached VND 30.6t, nearly doubling what was achieved throughout 2014. About VND 22.5t came from projects in HCMC and Hanoi (driven by real demand) with the rest from resort villas (investment-driven). Excluding resort villas, cash received from residential projects amounted to VND 14.9t in 7M15, or 66% of new contract value, fueling fast-track construction across projects. These positive results set the foundation for a jump in bottom line in 2016 and 2017, when a larger number of apartments and villas will be handed over. We expect market sentiment on VIC to pick up as 2016 nears.

Meanwhile, VIC has secured two new prime sites in HCMC to enrich its unrivaled land bank. The two sites (32ha and 22ha respectively) are located within or adjacent to HCMC’s CBD and derived from the rezoning process in which existing port sites will be converted into real estate land.

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