[Vietnam Briefing by Dezan Shira & Associates, 13 May 2015.] Dezan Shira & Associates are reporting that Ho Chi Minh City’s Thu Thiem (is a) Global Urban Development Gem. the article has been written by Keith Hilden.
Below is an edited extract.

…In November 2014, we documented what struck us as a market phenomenon. In this age of global urbanization, this video shows you how close Vietnam’s tallest skyscraper is to utterly empty fields; surely a phenomenon that will not be around, perhaps anywhere in our world, in 10 years or less.

The mere absence of developed land so close to the Bitexco Financial Tower is of little meaning and value with the proper analytical context, so we at Squawkonomics sought to find a metric that would better be able to measure the market potential of this expanse of land. We came up with a metric, the Land to Skyscraper Index. The land to skyscraper index (or LS Index) simply takes each country’s predominant commercial city’s highest skyscraper, and measures that in turn with the closest occurrence of undeveloped land. What we found was simply striking…

[The author then compared HCMC with Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Ulaan Baatar, Taipei, Tokyo, Shanghai, Manila, Pyongyang, Jakarta, Seoul, Vientiane, Yangon and Phnom Penh.]


Since there appeared to be an almost universal correlation between the tallest building and no instance of undeveloped land within close proximity of a skyscraper in Asia, upon closer inspection, we discovered that this correlation with skyscrapers and lack of empty land proved also to be true in South Asia, Oceania, North America, South America, Middle East and almost all of Europe and Africa. Please refer to the Squawkonomics website to see our full research methodology and detailed results.

Investment Implications

We can confirm that good land has become extremely precious and a rarity in almost all major commercial cities in the world. Therefore, what we see in Ho Chi Minh City, and to a lesser degree, in Phnom Penh, is a true market alpha anomaly derived from our land to skyscraper index, and a major market signal to invest in these development areas has surfaced accordingly. Equity investors are already sensing this in a macroeconomic sense, as Vietnam is at the front of the pack of the Asia Pacific region in money flows in previous months.


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