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VCBF funds see above-market returns

Vietnam’s Vietcombank Fund Management’s (VCBF) two open-ended funds returned more than 15% for the full year 2016, beating the Vietnamese stock market.

The VCBF Blue Chip Fund returned 18.4% in 2016 and 15.6% per annum since its inception in 2014, according to a statement from the firm. The VCBF Tactical Balanced Fund gained 15.5% in 2016 and 14.6% per annum since its inception in 2013.

The funds’ 2016 returns were higher than the return of the Vietnamese stock market, which was 15%.

In addition, both funds beat their benchmarks during the first quarter of this year, according to the statement.


Fund performance (1Q 2017)


Benchmark performance (1Q 2017)

VCBF Tactical Balanced Fund


Average of VN Index and 10-year government bond returns


VCBF Blue Chip Fund




Source: Vietcombank Fund Management 

Both funds had VND409bn ($18m) in assets from around 1,700 investors as of end-March, according to the statement.

The investor base of both funds are Vietnamese retail investors and some institutional and high-net-worth investors from the country, according to Avinash Satwalekar, VCBF’s CEO and chief investment officer. The fund is not offered outside Vietnam, he added.

He attributes the performance of both funds in their investments in food and beverage, industrial goods and services and construction materials, he said, noting that these sectors have performed well.

Besides managing two open-ended funds, VCBF’s asset management services are focused on separately managed accounts for institutional investors and high-net-worth clients. As of end-March, the firm managed around $112.3m in client assets. 

Other Vietnam-based fund managers also posted positive returns for their Vietnamese-focused equities funds. For example, Vinawealth’s Equity Opportunity Fund returned 16.7% in 2016, according to its fund factsheet. PXP Vietnam Asset Management’s Vietnam Emerging Equity Fund returned 11.62% during the same period, according to its fund factsheet. Manulife Asset Management Vietnam’s Manulife Equity Fund -Vietnam also returned 11.9%.

Remarkable year for Vietnam

“2016 has been as remarkable a year as it has been unpredictable,” Satwalekar said in the statement.

Vietnam was one of the three stock markets in Southeast Asia that had positive returns in 2016, according to data from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission. It is also the second cheapest market in the region on a PE basis.

Stock market

2015-2016 % change

PE ratios (end-2016)



















Source: SFC

Satwalekar, who is also a fund manager of both funds, said that it was important to look beyond the short-term market noise and into the long-term fundamentals of the individual companies.

VCBF is a joint venture between Vietcombank and Franklin Templeton Investments, according to the statement. Vietcombank holds a 51% stake in the firm, with the remainder owned by Franklin Templeton.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.