Japanese investors eye Vietnam stock market, SOE privatization

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Japanese investors attend a conference in Tokyo about investing in the Vietnamese stock market and reforming state enterprises. PHOTO COURTESY OF VIETNAM’S FINANCE MINISTRY

The Finance Ministry announced Saturday that many Japanese investors showed interest in the Vietnamese stock market and state-owned enterprises during a recent conference in Tokyo.
“Many Japanese investors showed eagerness at the new investment opportunities in Vietnam and wish to know more about businesses and the economy here before they enter,” the statement said.
The meeting was held Friday by Vietnam's State Securities Commission and several large Vietnamese companies.
Nearly 100 Japanese investors from financial services company SBI (Strategic Business Innovator Group), the Sumitomo trading company, Mitsubishi, Mizuho financial group and financial services firm J.P. Morgan participated in bilateral discussions with Vietnamese agents on the stock market's foreign invesment policies and opportunities to privatize Vietnamese state firms.
A Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon (Saigon Times) online report cited Pham Viet Muon, deputy spokesperson from the government office, as saying that Vietnam is opening its doors to foreign investors in order to restructure the economy, especially state-owned businesses, banks and stock markets.
Finance minister Dinh Tien Dung said Vietnam's government is finalizing polices and regulations on reforming state enterprises through privitazation, public offerings and refocusing them on core business practices.
Vietnam plans to privatize 432 state businesses by 2015.
“In restructuring the stock market, Vietnam's government would particularly appreciate foreign indirect investment,” Dung was cited as saying during the conference.
Japan is Vietnam’s biggest foreign direct investor with funds worth US$35.4 billion; it has been the country's top donor for two decades, committing more than $21 billion.
The country’s trade revenues in 2013 reached $25.3 billion, including a $2 billion trade surplus from Vietnam.
Most Japanese financial groups have a presence in Vietnam; Japanese assets make up 40 percent of foreign-held money in the Vietnamese stock market.

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