ANZ vies with HSBC in expanding structured products in Vietnam

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Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. is boosting offerings of structured products in Vietnam, as it competes with HSBC Holdings Plc to lure the nation's growing population of affluent individuals.

ANZ is preparing to introduce deposits linked to overseas equities, with longer-term plans to issue structured notes for sale in the country, Duong Duc Hung, who overseas the company's wealth-management business in Vietnam, said in a phone interview. The lender in July began offering three new types of savings yielding returns tied to foreign-exchange rates and gold, after introducing Vietnam's first structured deposits in 2009.

The offerings are part of the bank's push to tap demand for high-return investments among an increasing number of rich individuals as the Southeast Asian economy grows. HSBC is the only other foreign bank offering similar structured deposits, Duong said. The number of Vietnamese with net assets of more than $30 million will probably surge 85 percent to 344 by 2022, the ninth-fastest pace among 19 Asian nations, according to London-based property consultancy Knight Frank LLP.

"Growth has been exponential," Duong said. "Since we launched these products in July 2012, we have seen significant responsiveness from customers in Vietnam."

The bank has raised about A$40 million ($41.8 million) from the latest offerings, as the number of clients investing in structured deposits has quadrupled since the products were introduced in 2009, he said.

The newest principal-protected products have maturities of one year or longer and three basic payout structures, requiring a minimum investment of the equivalent of $10,000. Mostly tied to gold prices, popular investments can yield as much as 18 percent a year, Duong said.

HSBC products

HSBC announced in February that it will begin selling a new product. The lender planned to sell three-month deposits tied to the Australian and U.S. dollars from March 5 to March 11, according to its website.

Cao Thi Huong Giang, a Ho Chi Minh City-based spokeswoman for HSBC, said in an e-mail that the bank's head of wealth management in the country wasn't immediately available to comment on its structured products.

The increase in Vietnam's gross domestic product averaged 7.3 percent annually in the first decade of the century before growth slowed. The World Bank in December forecast that Vietnam's economy will expand 5.5 percent this year.

"In 1995, it was mostly motorbikes" on the street, Duong said. "Now if you come to Hanoi, or Ho Chi Minh, you see different types of cars. It has been an exponential change in the past 10 to 15 years."

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