Retail investors are unhappy that many listed companies fail to announce large transactions that take place in their shares, an act that could distort the relatively small Vietnam stock markets. Many investors in HCM City were stunned to hear after the markets closed last Monday that the World Bank’s International Finance Corp planned to begin selling nine million shares of Sacombank the next day.
Nguyen Tuan, an individual investor, said angrily the announcement had come too late. “It was posted on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE)’s website at 4 pm. Those who were not online that day did not know about it.”
Tuan added that the information would seriously affect the market as Sacombank was the most traded share.
Other listed companies too announced stock trading plans just a day previous to the transaction. For instance, the news that Bui Tuan Ngoc, who is on the board of the Transforwarding Warehousing Joint Stock Corp, would buy 60,000 shares of his company on Christmas Day only appeared on the HOSE website after trading hours the previous day.
Similarly, the announcement that Ngo Xuan Toan, deputy CEO of Vietnam Italia Steel, would sell 3,000 shares of his firm also on December 25 was published on the 24th.
Le Vinh, a customer of HCM City’s ACB securities firm, said insiders trading their companies’ shares should announce their plans early. “These transactions are surely planned far ahead. It’s unfair to small and individual investors to delay their announcement,” he said.
But State Securities Commission rules only require transactions by big shareholders to be announced one day before.
Tuan said the regulation was wholly unjustified and could badly affect small and individual share-holders. “I think the announcement should be made at least three days before the transaction day.”
Lam Minh Chanh, CEO of Dai Viet Securities Company, said it appeared from the regulation that the securities watchdog did not consider these transactions important.
“Investors must be notified of such announcements as soon as possible. Additionally, the reasons behind large transactions by major shareholders must also be announced.”
Le Dat Chi of HCM City’s Economics University, said large shareholders’ moves usually affected small investors’ confidence.
“Retail investors will panic and sell when large shareholders make heavy sales without offering an explanation.
“So, the government should have regulations to monitor listed companies’ announcements on share trading.
“Such regulations will safeguard retail investors’ interests”.