Credit Suisse invests in SOEs in Vietnam

The European bank forges financial ties with Vietnam's Vinashin and Vinalines.
Credit Suisse has announced that it has signed an agreement to arrange financing of up to $700 million for Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin), and a memorandum to develop a financing programme of up to $1 billion and provide other financial services for Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines).

Both documents were signed in the presence of Vietnamese prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Credit Suisse group chief executive officer Oswald Gruebel at Davos, which the officials were all attending.

Vinashin is one of largest state-owned enterprises in the nation - it has 52 subsidiaries - made up of 20 shipyards and 32 companies - and it employs roughly 15,000 people. It also has shares in four other joint-venture companies, including the biggest shipyard in Southeast Asia - the Hyundai-Vinashin JV Shipyard.

The state-run Vinalines is the largest shipping firm in Vietnam and does everything from shipping to ship repair and managing port operations.

"We are pleased to work with two of Vietnam's largest companies, Vinashin and Vinalines. We believe that they are at the forefront of the rapid economic development taking place in Vietnam," says Paul Calello, Credit Suisse's Asia-Pacific chief executive officer.

Indeed, Credit Suisse forecasts the Vietnamese economy to grow by 9.2% in 2007, following an estimated 8.2% growth in 2006. And it has been heavily involved in Vietnam's development thus far. The bank was the sole bookrunner of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam's $750 million ground-breaking, debut sovereign bond issue in 2005. It has also been Vietnam's ratings advisor since 2002, assisting the country in getting its first-ever ratings from both Standard & Poor's and Fitch. Last year, Credit Suisse was awarded Securities Trading Code Certificates from the Vietnam Securities Depository, allowing the bank to engage in the trading of domestic equities, as well as government and corporate bonds.
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