The country’s long awaited over the-counter market finally opened yesterday in Hanoi but the debut did not look cheerful.
Commodities by six companies qualified to offer shares for trading have a total value of dong 1.42 trillion (US$90 million), but only 8.3 billion dong worth of shares changes hands, whereas four bonds issued by the state-run Development Assistance Fund worth 55 billion dong found no takers. However, deputy Finance minister Le Thi Bang Tam was upbeat about a busy market in the future. It’s because the government is determined to create various commodities and foreign investors will join after Vietnam becomes a member of the World Trade Organisation.
According to Tam’s speech at an earlier industry meeting, the government is going to issue bonds worth more than nine trillion dong and trade them on both the OTC market and the official exchange.
Putting the Hanoi bourse into operation will help investors avert possible risks from trading shares unofficially, said Tran Xuan Ha, chair of the State Securities Commission (SSC).
There are more than 2,000 equitised companies in the country but only 29 list shares on the organised exchange and the remainder have been trading shares unofficially.
But Nguyen Mien Tuan from the Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Bank (Sacombank) doubted the “quality” of commodities on the OTC market given loose financial report rules on and the small scale of firms registering to trade shares there.
Any company with minimum chartered capital of five billion dong, at least 50 shareholders, and a profit to show for the previous year will be eligible to register to trade shares on the OTC market.
The first six companies on the Hanoi trading centre are Vinh Son-Song Hinh (VSH), Hai Au Paper (GHA), Thang Long Wine (VTL), Hacinco Hotel (HSC), Construction and Infrastructure Development (CID), and Khanh Hoa Power (KHP).
The OTC market operates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only.