The-mystery-of-KB-Securities-investment-in-Vietnam
Shown above are the head offices of Camimex and KB Securities. KB Securities claims that it did not purchase Camimex shares. Photo courtesy of Camimex and KB Securities

Who purchased Camimex shares?

Vietnamese news sites reported that KB Securities invested in Camimex to become the second-largest shareholder of the seafood processing company based in Vietnam’s Ca Mau.

But KB Securities, one of the leading brokerage houses in South Korea, flatly denies, while contending that the Seoul-headquartered firm is not a Camimex shareholder.

What happened? Here are stories from both sides.

Vietnamese news outlets like NDH and VietnamBiz reported that KB Securities purchased millions of Camimex shares this summer to become the No. 2 shareholder of the seafood company.

The reports noted that the Korean securities company’s stake in Camimex is 11.25 percent following Camimex Chairman Bui Si Tuan and his aides.

When contacted, KB Securities said that it did not gobble up Camimex shares, claiming the reports from Vietnamese media outlets are not true.

We reported the purchase of Camimex shares (to the Vietnamese authorities) instead of our customers. Our clients, not KB Securities, snapped up Camimex shares,” a KB official said.

Some Vietnamese media outlets, which are not accustomed to the trading business, appear to mistakenly write some articles.”

The chances are that KB Securities formed a fund to become a general partner, attracting limited partners, which means investors, according to a source.

If KB is a general partner of the fund working for limited partners, the Vietnamese system would recognize KB as the shareholder of Camimex,” said the source who worked for the brokerage business for the past few decades. “Otherwise, Vietnamese media sites’ reports do not make sense.”

Comments from Camimex were not available.

Established in 1977, Camimex has become one of the leading corporations in processing and exporting such aquatic products as shrimp, squid, and cuttlefish.

Currently, the outfit processes and exports an excess of 10,000 tons of products to overseas markets. It operates big shrimp ponds and farms in Ca Mau, some 300 kilometers southwest of Hon Chi Minh City.