HCMC bourse probes leak of securities firm secrets

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The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange is investigating the source of a recent report that exposed confidential trading information of all securities firms in Ho Chi Minh City.

"The case is relatively serious," said Le Hai Tra, deputy director of the exchange. "We are searching the source of the data. We may ask the police to step in."

The report came as a shock to securities companies who trading details are typically considered confidential.

"Only some staff in the trading department and the company's leaders have knowledge of the list of stocks the company buys or sells. Other departments don't have the right to know," said a representative from Thanh Cong Securities.

Many securities firms, including Golden Lotus Securities, confirmed that the details contained in the report were true.

Nguyen Anh Tuan, head of brokerage at Viet Dragon Securities, told Thanh Nien Weekly he obtained the report a month ago but he guessed that it had been circulating for several months.

"At first, the report might have been spread among just a few people. Gradually, it was forwarded to more and more people. I got it about a month ago. It is an excel file."

Any individual or corporate investor with trading data about securities companies would aim to use this information to the benefit of their trading, said the general director of a brokerage who requested anonymity.

Brokerages said if the report revealed trading data of some securities firms, their trading departments could be blamed, but this report contained exact and detailed trading information of all securities firms in Ho Chi Minh City.

Tra said the kind of detail included in the report could not be the product of brokerages.

He said the report must have originated at one of three places: the stock exchange itself, the securities depository or the State Securities Commission, the stock regulator.

Typically, securities firms are not only brokers who trade stocks on behalf of investors but also trade stocks on their own. They control investors' trading and keep that information confidential. They also have the right to keep their own trading data confidential though they have to report it to the stock exchange, the securities depository, and the State Securities Commission.

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