As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the globe, leaving economic devastation along its wake, the Vietnam country-specific ETF continues to stand out among Southeast Asian markets.
The VanEck Vectors Vietnam ETF (NYSEARCA: VNM) has surged 23.8% over the past month, and it was among the best performers on Friday, rising 1.3%.
Vietnam was one of the first countries in the world to ease social distancing measures this week, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Vietnamese investors on the ground feel that the government has taken swift and effective measures to manage the virus outbreak,” Patrick Mitchell, director of institutional equities at ACB Securities Co., told Bloomberg. “The market is dominated by retail flows and the buyers have come back to super cheap valuations in the companies they like, so it makes sense to buy more at these levels with a longer investment view.”
There were fewer than 300 cases of Covid-19 and no deaths in the developing country. Unlike other low-income countries with minimal ability to test for the virus, Vietnam has conducted over 180,000 tests.
Looking ahead, the International Monetary Fund now expects Vietnam’s economy expand 2.7%, the fastest in the world. However, this still falls short of its 6.8% growth rate last year and remains at the optimistic end of projections.
Some observers warned that after a rapid expansion in the country, tourism will be seriously affected for the foreseeable future. Tourism, which makes up 5.9% of total output, is very large relative to most other countries.
Furthermore, the government is limited in its ability to provide the amount of economic and financial support that other advanced economies have enjoyed, which somewhat explains the country’s modest financial response to the coronavirus-induced crisis. According to Bank of America analysis, its direct fiscal injection was less than 1% of gross domestic product, or less than half of the spending increase in the Philippines, Indonesia or Malaysia.
For more information on the developing economies, visit our emerging markets category.