The Ministry of Finance will assist Vietnam’s strongest companies wanting to list on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) at some future date by acting as a “bridge”, according to an unnamed source within, though whether this means something regulatory or just being helpful remains to be seen.
“Singapore’s financial industry is well known by the rest of the world. It accounts for 12% of the country’s gross domestic product,” the specialist said. “To let Vietnamese firms list on the SGX will help pave the way for our full integration into global financial market.”
Local firms, of course, will find it difficult to fulfil all the SGX’s listing requirements, he said. “Those companies wishing to trade shares on the SGX must be big and profitable and must adopt international auditing practices beforehand.”
For the time being, the ministry will pick out several companies and propose the government give them special dispensation to list in Singapore. In the long term, the ministry will publicise the appropriate criteria for any company wanting to list abroad, he said.
HCM City Insurance Co, or Bao Minh, is undergoing equitisation (Vietnam’s term for privatisation) and the process will be finished soon. “We’ll propose listing Bao Minh on the SGX rather than on the local bourse,” the man from the ministry said.
Another possible candidate is general Forwarding & Agency Corp (Gemadept). Which long ago sought government permission to list on the SGX. “Gemadept will also be taken into account,” he said.
Gemadept is one of who dozen companies listed on the HCM City Securities trading Centre and has a great need for fresh finance to develop its shipping fleet and build more seaports.
When it opened a branch in Singapore early this year, the idea was that the move could help with Gemadept’s bid for SGX listing, besides being an exercise in boosting its Singapore business.