Anpha Capital Group and Hanoi Fund Management, two asset management firms in Vietnam, have formed a strategic partnership.

Anpha Capital û which manages the Vietnam Equity Holding (VEH) and the Vietnam Property Holding (VPH) portfolios û has entered into an agreement with Hanoi Fund Management, which will serve as its exclusive sub-investment manager for the VEH portfolio.

Under the agreement, Hanoi Fund Management will assist Anpha Capital in the daily management of its VEH fund.

Hanoi Fund Management provides the local investment license, which is a major competitive advantage over most foreign funds in Vietnam, according to a spokesperson from Anpha Capital. The license allows Hanoi Fund Management to invest without foreign limitations or restrictions.

Hanoi Fund Management will also provide: operational and investment expertise; the backing of major shareholders such as the Military Bank and Thang Long Securities; deal flow sourcing; cross-functional alliance; and potential synergies between portfolio companies, the spokesperson says.

The VEH fund has $75 million in assets while the VPH fund has $50 million. Both funds are still about 70% cash, however, and both are listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange.

The VEH fund invests mostly in pre-IPO opportunities of state-owned-enterprises, equalisations, over-the-counter securities, private equity, and listed shares. In Vietnam, equitisation refers to the first of two stages involved in getting a Vietnamese company onto the stock markets. The most common equitisation process in Vietnam involves a company launching an IPO to turn itself into a shareholding concern first and then placing private offerings.

The VPH fund targets the real estate sector, concentrating on commercial, residential, retail, industrial parks, and infrastructure projects.

Anpha Capital also manages two local investment funds, which are the Anpha Capital Equity and Anpha Capital Property portfolios. It is planning to launch two other funds, one with an infrastructure theme and the other one with a media theme.

Anpha Capital currently has 20 employees, of which 12 are in the investment team. Louis Nguyen is the firmÆs CEO and chairman. Desmond Lin is the managing director of the VPH fund while Ha Nguyen is director of the VPH fund.

Nguyen, who was a co-founder of the firm and has always been its CEO, was only recently appointed chairman. The previous chairman, local businessmen Giang Bui, left recently after a mutual agreement.

Anpha Capital was officially licensed by VietnamÆs State Securities Commission in December 2006 with the initial name of Phu Lan Investment Fund Management. Anpha Capital is authorised to provide services in fund management, security investment, and corporate finance advisory.

The key competitive advantage for Anpha Capital is its hybrid structure as a foreign fund and its partnership with a domestic fund management company, which enables the company to invest without foreign ownership limitations and restrictions.