Vietnam firm launches RE fund for UK investors

Dragon Capital has received £45m from institutional investors through an AIM listing.

Vietnam investment specialist Dragon Capital has launched a closed-end vehicle for UK institutional and individual investors to invest in the Vietnamese property market.

The Dragon Capital Vietnam Property fund has raised £45 million ($90 million) from UK institutional investors on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market last week. It was the largest AIM IPO for the month of April.

This is the sixth Vietnam-focused fund raised by Dragon Capital, but it is its first property fund. Its previous fund targeted the corporate and financial sectors as well as buyouts and debt. Dragon Capital’s property team will be headed by Neil Thurston.

The money was raised from institutional investors, including the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank and the French government-backed investment firm Proparco.

Established in Vietnam in 1994, Dragon Capital today has an asset base of more than $2 billion. It is domiciled in the Cayman Islands.

Neil Thurston, manager of Dragon Capital’s propertt investment team, said: “Vietnam’s rapid growth has resulted in acute undersupply across a range of property categories. Our aim will be to seek out investments that are most likely to benefit from the raw growth of the domestic economy.”

The fund will initially invest through real estate companies, forming partnerships for development projects. Fund materials indicate that it may later allocate funds directly to construction projects. The fund will be sector and geography agnostic, with investments geared toward minority positions in real estate projects and companies.