Vietnam’s stock exchange, with more than 250 listed companies, has a lot of potential but the country’s listed firms should think about developing on bigger markets, according to Larry Eastland, President and Chief Executive Officer of LEA Management Group.
Easland led a mission of US financial advisors, consultant companies and listing professionals to Vietnam early last month.
For two days, they discussed the opportunities and regulations involved in listing on the US stock markets while providing advise to local firms.
Andy Lai, managing director of Yorkshire Capital, said there are many levels of stock markets in the US, and regulations are flexible for Vietnamese businesses to join.
“Vietnamese businesses will develop and need to raid funds from the international markets”, Lai told Thanh Nien Daily.
“Listing on the US markets, they will pro-mote their images in international and local markets”, he added.
A week before the US group’s visit to Vietnam, the Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing Limited (HKEx) met with Vietnamese firms.
HKEx’s chairman Ronald Arculli invited local businesses to list in Hong Kong, citing the market’s high liquidity and large amount of international investors.
Additionally, the Lord Mayor of London Alderman John Stuttard visited Vietnam this summer to promote the stock exchange in London.
In his first ever visit, accompanied by authorities from the London Stock Exchange, the mayor praised the country’s stock exchange and public companies’ development while advising local businesses to list on the world’s oldest market.
Authorities from other stock markets in Germany, Malaysia, Korea and Japan have also promoted their exchanges in Vietnam throughout the year.
Tran Kim Thanh, Chairman of Kinh Do Corporation, whose shares are listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE), said the corporation has considered listing its shares abroad and is scouting for the best opportunities to do so.
He said listing abroad is one of the corporation’s priorities.
“For us, listing abroad aims to promote our brand name not boost capital-raising”, he told Thanh Nien Daily.
He said that the country’s leading confectionery producer is interested in regional stock markets like Singapore or Hong Kong where the producer wants to boost sales.
An official from an international fund said many of Vietnam’s listed firms already qualify to list on the Singapore Stock Exchange.
He said several local firms’ share capitalizations reach US$1 billion on Vietnam’s stock markets, including Vinamilk (VNM), Sacombank (STB), FPT or Asia Commercial Bank (ACB).
Many local businesses feel the pressure to list abroad not only from their management boards but also from shareholders.
However an official from a securities company in HCM City said Vietnam’s accounting system differs from other countries, which could cause conflicts when local firms apply to list abroad.