September 28, 2015.
Vietnam’s economy is expected to see the largest growth out of the six major Southeast Asian countries tracked by the Asian Development Bank. It saw growth in foreign investments and exports that rivaled its neighbors and strengthened its third quarter improvement. In order to protect this growth and potentially stimulate it further, Vietnam weakened the dong this past August. This marks the third time this year that Vietnam has devalued its currency, broadening the dong’s range of possible trades following the devaluation of the yuan. Vietnam is also simultaneously enjoying the benefits of cheaper energy costs resulting in in higher domestic demand. In the nine months before and through September, the economy grew 6.5 percent along with a 6.81 percent growth in GDP in the third quarter last year. Additionally, imports, exports, industrial production, and others all had marked improvement, striking a parallel with Vietnam’s stocks. According to analysts, these stocks made the benchmark equity index the best performer in Asia.
Louie Nguyen, CFA is the CIO of San Diego-based Soledad Investment Management. Soledad invests qualified clients’ assets in markets around the world, including Vietnam.