Vietnam private equity investor confidence drops, survey shows

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Private-equity investors' optimism in Vietnam's economic prospects dropped after inflation accelerated and the government devalued the currency, according to a biannual survey by Grant Thornton International.

Those with a positive outlook for the coming year fell to 53 percent in the second quarter from 81 percent last year, Grant Thornton said in a report today. The latest survey canvassed more than 800 so-called decision makers in the private-equity business. Those with a negative outlook increased to 21 percent, the highest level since the second quarter of 2009, from 3.9 percent a year earlier, separate data showed.

Vietnam's economy may expand 6.5 percent this year, Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc said on May 3. That's down from a 6.8 percent expansion last year. Consumer prices rose 17.51 percent in April from a year earlier, the fastest pace in 28 months. The dong has been devalued four times in the last eighteen months, most recently in February.

"Sentiment has decreased toward Vietnam as a preferred destination," Ken Atkinson, managing partner at Grant Thornton Vietnam, said in the study. "This is consistent with the uncertainty in Vietnam's economy."

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