Best Vietnam Finance & Financial Economics blogs

By , September 26, 2011 10:30 am


This blog covers global and Vietnam news with a financial economics view, with in-depth analysis.

The author, Mr. Giang Le PhD, is working for an investment fund in Brisbane, Australia.


This blog covers economic news and is updated with high frequency.

3. and

Tuan writes and co-writes for local newspapers. His WordPress is an aggregate of his articles. His Blogspot is more like a reading archive with occasional comments. Commenting on his blog would trigger in-depth responses.

Tuan is doing his PhD in University of Manchester.


A more trader-oriented blog that mostly covers the author’s analysis on US market, with occasional view on Vietnam environment.

Tri bases in Oregon and his team in HCMC.


A collaborative blog by PG Bank’s Research Group.

Trends & hypes detected from VC investments

By , September 26, 2011 3:40 am

start ups

Source: Business Insider, 15 Startups With $100 Million+ Valuations That Hardly Existed Last Year offers cross-border shipping service

By , September 22, 2011 6:07 am

I face a few issues ordering items from international online shopping sites:

  • Many sellers on Amazon and other online shopping sites (e.g. do not ship goods to my location
  • Many sellers require hard-copy credit card scan sent to them
  • Customs and import tax handling
  • International supports are often ambiguous, time-consuming, and sometimes costly
  • PayPal has issues processing my local bank accounts (a JV by eBay and PeaceSoft) now offers international transaction service, a solution to my issues.

How it works:

  1. You find what you need online. Condition: the site allows payment via credit card and/or PayPal
  2. Click here to place order via
  3. will order the goods and delivers to your door
  4. Fee: as for my item, a fee of $15 applied. Import tax & VAT are applied on top depending on the item

I placed an order with them and paid using (PeaceSoft’s payment solution, similar to PayPal). Customer service was responsive and nice.

There’s a promotion running, gives VND200,000 coupons to first-time users. Click here to grab it.

There are other similar (and smaller) services, but I put my trust on a company invested by eBay.

You wanna give it a try.

The slim chance for online professional networking

By , September 19, 2011 6:48 am

Kingbee Media launched, an online networking site for professionals. It is hoped that they can build community of professionals then sell online ads.

My prediction is that their online business won’t turn out as good as what they’re expecting today. Simply put, money doesn’t flow to this niché. Senior level knowledge sharing and deal making are not done online.

It’d be better off if the company goes back to where it is strong: generating revenue from building networks offline. The online channel, at best, serves as a public relation and/or community relation. In short, majority of revenue shall be from offline activities and dealings.

If they insist, I hope I will be proven wrong.

As a foot note, CyVee ceases development and Caravat is officially dead. I’m sure Ms. Thanh Nguyen is planning something else for Anphabe.

Baidu enters Vietnam

By , September 17, 2011 3:43 am

CafeF1 reports Baidu has launched 2 sites in Vietnamese language:

The portal and Q&A service

This is part of the localization of Baidu’s existing services to other international markets. Baidu also recruits PM in Vietnam.

I like the portal.

  • It’s neat
  • It lists the sites that I benefit from knowing
  • Lots of white spaces, few images
  • Large and pleasant font (Tahoma?). BTW I hate Times & Arial
  • In terms of information, I prefer it to and (sorry Guy)
  • In terms of customization it is nowhere near and though
  • The concern is if I use VNI Vietnamese typing method, the URL messes up

So in short, nice attempt.

The Q&A service will have to compete with Yahoo! Answers. Also, is preparing to launch.

The challenge Baidu has in Vietnam is probably public relations.

Traces of Gerontocracy

By , September 16, 2011 9:05 am

While Android is struggling on tablet screen, Microsoft launches the tablet-friendly Windows 8.

EA returns to the spotlight.

How many characters are required for a popular sentence

By , September 16, 2011 4:45 am

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog: English – 43 characters
Con cáo nâu nhanh nhẹn nhảy qua chú chó lười biếng: Vietnamese – 50 characters
敏捷的棕色狐狸跃过懒狗: simplified Chinese – 11 characters

Twitter sucks.

Self-reminding notes – part 1

By , September 15, 2011 4:11 am
  1. Ego is best shown through results
  2. Say I’ll be working for another 35 years. A hypothetically good track along 34 years has nothing to guarantee I’ll succeed in the 35th
  3. 35 years ~ 7 crises. I’m being optimistic
  4. Fail early
  5. Once you verify you have mastered one skill, quickly move on to learning new skills. Over-relying on a narrow set of strengths is self-destruct
  6. Among a few things that stain permanently, bad academic record is one, ethical misconduct is another
  7. When you think you are young enough to know "the new economy", look for evidence of gerontocracy
  8. When you win, there is no guarantee that you will be heard. But when you lose, your good stories at best look like lame excuses
  9. Appropriate duration to feel good about yourself after a feat is 2 miliseconds. Things move fast
  10. There are more polite people on earth than you think; I’m talking about compliments you have received
  11. The quasi-philosophical question "am I living or am I merely existing?" is pointless because existing in the market is already an extreme luck
  12. Only do devil’s advocate in small groups in controlled environments. 100% you are misunderstood then ill-interpreted otherwise.

Groupon: perfectly healthy, good cash flow, and well on the track

By , September 2, 2011 10:16 am


  • Spent $263 million in 2010 and $208 million in Q1 2011 for marketing. Source: Groupon’s S-1 IPO Filing to SEC
  • Spent $203 million in 2010 for acquisitions
  • To generate net loss of $413 million in 2010 and $113 million in 2011 costs marketing selling administration management acquisition international expansion overhead

It can be profitable TODAY if it decides to

  1. Cut down marketing activities and rely on word-of-mouth
  2. Stop international expansion
  3. Net income would immediately be approximately $381 million, EPS $1.63

However, the scenario is purely hypothetical because international business is already larger than its NA revenue. sources of revenue north america international global worldwide

Additionally, cash flow looks good

  • $7 million free cash flow
  • $209 million in cash
  • $82 million in accounts receivable while trade credit is $519 million, or 6 times receivables

In terms of numbers, the current cash flow statement is perfectly healthy.

What’s worth the discussion is innovation in business model to generate supreme profits and create barriers to entry.

A technical note: my sensitivity analysis points out the factor that affects valuation the most is market performance. valuation market performance risk premium

Vietnamese netizens and consumers

By , September 2, 2011 7:48 am
  1. Vietnamese prefer anonymity and love to use pseudonym, like those from Japan and Korea
  2. 65% online communities are still built on (vbb) forums
  3. The physical distance between real connections is short people can meet one another in less than half an hour. Online?
  4. Majority of business is done through old school channels, not online
  5. Content-centric may be more welcome than relationship-centric. A lot of people don’t know what to do when they login social networks except for playing social games.
  6. Heavy herd behavior. All we need is a few influencers
  7. Monetizable segment: young urban female with disposable income from the rising middle-class. This matches with global Groupon customer profile
  8. Vietnamese love discounts. Source: Nielsen => Groupon
  9. Vietnamese love spending for F&B, entertainment, education, children. Source: Mastercard, Euromonitor

euromonitor vietnamese spending

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