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IFC Approves Investment in Vietnam's Digital Media Industry Signals Further Commitment to Vietnam's Information Technology Sector


IFC-Washington D.C.:
Corrie Shanahan

Phone:  (202) 473-2258

Fax:  (202) 974-4384

E-mail:
cshanahan@ifc.org

IFC-Hanoi:        

Deepak C. Khanna        

Phone:  (84-4) 934-2282        

Fax:  (84-4) 934 2289        

E-mail:  
dkhanna@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., December 10, 2002—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector development arm of the World Bank Group, has today approved an investment of up to US$1.75 million in Glass Egg Digital Media, a digital media services company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands with operations in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The proposed investment is expected to be IFC’s second investment in Vietnam’s information technology sector and further demonstrates the World Bank Group’s commitment to develop this sector in Vietnam.

IFC’s planned investment would be part of a $3.0 million financing alongside Dragon Capital, managers of the largest Vietnam-dedicated investment fund, Vietnam Enterprise Investments Limited. The financing will help to expand Glass Egg’s technical, managerial, and production capacity in Vietnam, and to improve its marketing presence in the United States. IFC will play a key role in instituting best practices in corporate governance by encouraging Glass Egg to attract additional industry expertise and independent Board members. IFC also intends to encourage the expansion of a staff incentive scheme to a broad base of employees.


Founded in 1999 by Mr. Phil Tran, a Vietnamese-American with several years of experience in the digital media industry, Glass Egg utilizes the high-quality, low-cost technical and artistic expertise available in Vietnam to provide 3D animation and programming services to top-tier game publishers as well as media and advertising companies in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Glass Egg currently has 67 employees, and carries out all development work in Vietnam.
Mohsen Khalil, the World Bank Group’s Director for Global Information and Communication Technologies (GICT), said, “Vietnam’s recent trade deal with the United States is a boost for companies like Glass Egg that are helping Vietnam build a software outsourcing industry. Glass Egg represents a unique opportunity to strengthen Vietnam’s position in the high-skill, high value-added areas of digital media outsourcing.”


The trade agreement is expected to encourage more companies to invest in Vietnam, and help speed up plans for Vietnam to join the World Trade Organization.


John Shrimpton, a director at Dragon Capital based in Ho Chi Minh City, said, “As a founder shareholder in Glass Egg, we have seen the company develop an impressive client base which includes the world’s largest game developers. Given Glass Egg’s global comparative advantage, we are pleased to increase our investment in order to assist the company in achieving a scale which can realize its full potential.”


Phil Tran, Founder and General Director, said, “Glass Egg will leverage Vietnam’s creative graphic artist and programming talent pool to serve global markets. We are pleased to have the IFC and Dragon Capital as partners in this endeavor.”


IFC’s mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Since its founding in 1956, IFC has committed more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged $21 billion in syndications for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s committed portfolio at the end of FY02 was $15.1 billion, with an additional $6.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.


The World Bank Group’s Global Information and Communication Technologies Department
(www.worldbank.org/ict) promotes the transfer of communications and information technologies to the developing world. The Information Technologies Investments Division, part of GICT, is a stage-independent investor with an exclusive focus on building successful information technology businesses in the emerging markets. Formed in mid-2000, the group brings a global perspective to information technology, a long-term approach to investments, an ability to leverage the resources of the entire World Bank Group as well as a commitment to maximize the value of its portfolio companies through sustained strategic assistance.