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BloodLust DeathKnight

Posts : 154
Join date : 2011-01-31

PostSubject: In the past decade   Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:01 am

sian Unicorn Reserve Established in Vietnam to Protect the Species

By Stephanie Sajor, 15 April 2011

A reserve for the so-called Asian unicorn, or the saola, was established in Vietnam to protect the rare species. The saola, which may only be in the few hundreds, was only just discovered in 1992. Vietnamese researchers could only identify the species at first after discovering saola skulls with villagers in remote mountainous regions. It has been categorized as a critically endangered species. The animal received its nickname “Asian unicorn” a year ago, but in truth actually has two horns. "They obviously have two horns," said Barney Long to MSNBC, "but it is a cylindrical horn and pretty straight, so if you look at it from the side, it looks a bit like it has one horn."

Captivity for the creature can prove to be fatal. Villagers in Laos captured a male saola last year, and died after only a few days. "When they're in captivity they seem to act extremely tame, and they're very open to having people come up to them and touch them," Long explained to MSNBC. However, their calm behavior is actually a function of their extreme stress. "The animal is freaking out," he said. The new reserve is the fourth set up in terrain thought to contain the saola.

KKR goes fishin’ in Vietnam

By Andrew Chang, 15 April 2011

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts made its first foray into Vietnam this week with the acquisition of a 10 per cent stake in Masan Consumer, the country’s biggest producer of fish sauce, for $159m. The deal, announced on Wednesday, will be the private equity group’s fourth investment in Southeast Asia and its first in Vietnam. The acquisition, which values Masan at $1.6bn, will be the largest private equity deal in Vietnam to date. It underscores how the biggest private equity groups are turning to emerging markets and seeking smaller deals as they count on rapid economic growth rather than high debt levels to generate big returns. Soaring inflation, regular currency devaluations and a de facto foreign debt default by Vinashin, a state-owned shipbuilder, have shaken investor confidence in Vietnam.

However, Josephine Yei, chief executive of Vietnam-based SBB Securities, said the deal is “inflation resistant”.

“Inflation is a problem here and food is one of the contributing factors,” said Yei. However, she believed Masan Consumer is resistant to inflation because food is a necessity and increased costs can be passed onto consumer, unlike other sectors such as real estate. Fish sauce, or nuoc nam as it is locally known, is a condiment derived from fermented fish and is a staple in Vietnamese cuisine. Another motivation for the stake buy is Vietnam’s growing population, with the number now sitting at 88m, added Yei.

“KKR is bullish on Vietnam,” a KKR spokesman said. “It is a large country with a young a growing population. In the past decade, there has been considerable economic progress, structural reforms, and a notable increase in living standards. Demographic and social trends favor the rise of domestic consumption.” In addition, although Masan is not a monopoly, it lacks real big competitors, Yei noted. Vinamilk, a major food producer, focuses on dairy products and Kinh Do, another domestic food producer, focuses on bakery, cakes and confectionary foods, she said.

Masan Group is a blue chip companies with a good management team, she said, adding that since listing on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange in late 2009, the company’s stock price has increased over 160 per cent despite the sub-par performance of the stock market.

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