What does the company do?

Nam Long started out as the first non-state owned enterprise in Vietnam’s construction sector in 1992. Since then, it has grown into a reputable property developer in Ho Chi Minh City, with a decent land bank and promising project pipeline.

Why do we like the investment?

Nam Long has the attributes that we like in a quality property developer. It is positioned in the affordable to mid-level segments of Vietnam’s housing market where the structural growth is. Its affordable housing brand, Ehome, is well established. The company also develops reasonably priced mid-end housing in Ho Chi Minh City under the brands Flora and Valora, together with Japanese partners Hankyu Realty and Nishin Nippon.

While Nam Long continues to focus on affordable housing, its property mix has been shifting up to the mid-level segment through the years. This is partly due to rising affluence. It also reflects Nam Long’s ambitions to become the leading integrated real estate group by 2030. The group is developing more integrated townships with offerings in the suburbs of large urban centres instead of single projects on smaller land parcels. Its multiple brands mean that it can be more flexible depending on the location and target market. This is supported by a large land bank of around 680 hectares in south Vietnam, mainly in Can Tho, Long An and Ho Chi Minh City.

The integrated townships satisfying the need to “live, work, play, shop and learn” are key to the Dragon Growth Transformation journey that Nam Long undertook in 2021. The company aims to increase its market penetration by developing new segments in priority districts in Ho Chi Minh City on top of its familiar products like EHome, Flora and Valora. Geographic expansion is also in the works. Nam Long is looking at Hanoi and priority Tier 2 cities that have potential for economic growth, attracting a large workforce who would need homes to live in. Overseeing all this is a progressive management team with a strong track record. The performance-driven culture is aligned with minority interests, with checks and balances through its key shareholder, Singapore’s Keppel Land, and Japanese project partners, which also provide the necessary skill and expertise in construction.

Meanwhile, Nam Long sits well with sustainability development, given its focus on providing affordable housing in a market where it is very much needed. It has three focus areas: sustainable business operations, protecting the environment and contributing to society. For instance its supplier Nam Long sets regulations on environmental standards and requires its contractors to use construction techniques that minimise environmental damage. As for sustainable urban planning, in the areas that Nam Long develops, the proportion of green habitats from low building density planning is 30% or higher, with most of such space given over to rivers, trees, landscape lakes and the like. Finally, Nam Long’s affordable housing product line has enabled nearly 3,300 low-income households in Ho Chi Minh City the opportunity to own their own apartments. The group has also donated about VND8 billion (£260,000) to support over 20,000 people through corporate social responsibility activities such as Support for Covid-19, support for flash floods in the central region, an education fund, and maintaining the “Swing for Dreams” scholarship fund.

Companies selected for illustrative purposes only to demonstrate the investment management style described herein and not as an investment recommendation or indication of future performance.

In which year did we first invest?

2019

Where is their head office?

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

What is their website?

http://namlongvn.com/

Holding at period end:

3.2%

Risk warning
Risk warning
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