Medical market set for private investment

Tasco Joint Stock Company is seeking to form international partnerships to pursue large upcoming projects.

Tasco, one of Vietnam’s biggest private transport infrastructure developers in Vietnam, is working on plan to co-operate with some state-run hospitals to develop their satellite hospitals. This will ease existing hospital overloads.

‘We have studied medical development models in other countries, and we want to co-operate with partners from Singapore, Japan, France, Colombia, and the US who have strong financial capacity and years-long experience in the medical sector’, Tasco’s chairman Pham Quang Dung told VIR.

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However, he admitted that Tasco’s plan was encountering some challenges. Under several current rules, when a private firm invests in public hospitals, it is not allowed to own land where the hospitals are located. This means that private firms cannot use that land for collateral to get bank loans.

Tasco is an example of the growing trend among private firms to penetrate lucrative and sensitive sectors like the healthcare sector to gain potential untapped profits. Vietnamese nationals spend billions of dollars on medical care abroad a year.

In 2016, Vietnam has witnessed a bustling year of foreign capital flows in the medical market. In early July of this year, Japan’s Taisho Pharmaceutical Holdings completed acquisition of a 24.5 stake in Vietnam’s biggest publicly traded drug maker Hau Giang Pharmaceutical JSC from 34 foreign investors.

In late June, Malaysia’s Navis Capital partners completed a partnership deal with Hanoi French Hospital (HFH) at an undisclosed value. HFH operates a 70-bed hospital in Hanoi.

Adding more to the list is VinaCapital Vietnam Opportunity Fund (VOF), who announced just a few months ago that it had invested US$9 million into Thai Hoa International Hospital to acquire a controlling stake in the healthcare facility located in the southern province of Dong Thap. Meanwhile, assert manager Sam acquired a 15% stake in Ho Chi Minh City-based medicine distributor My Chau Investment Corporation.

Pharma Group- the Pharmaceutical Sector Committee of EuroCham- believed that the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community, the signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (FTA), and the Trans-Pacific Partnership has provided Vietnam with a regional competitive advantage in terms of attracting foreign investors.

‘This could possibly put Vietnam on the road to becoming an ASEAN hub for innovative pharmaceutical manufacturing. But the window of opportunity is short with FTAs scheduled for other countries in the region in the next two three years, so this is the right time for Vietnam  to take action’, said Pharma Group.


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