Vietnam plans longer trading hours for stock exchanges

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The State Securities Commission of Vietnam plans to extend the trading time for the country's two stock exchanges this month as the securities market gears up for a restructuring.

Under the plan, trading time will be extended to 2:15 p.m. for the two stock exchanges in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with a 1.5-hour break at 11:30 a.m., news website reported. Trading now stops at 11:00 a.m.

The plan has been submitted to the Ministry of Finance and is expected to take effect on February 20.

According to the report, the proposed afternoon trading session is supported by many securities companies in the country.

Some small brokerages, however, worried that the extended hours could translate to higher operation costs for them. They also said the afternoon session would not help boost liquidity much and would require investors to spend more time with the market.

Officials have said that two-session trading is conventional in other countries and that it is necessary to extend the hours considering the market is on a recovery track.

Vietnam plans to restructure the stock market this year. Various measures have been planned, including merging the two exchanges to form a new national stock market and reorganizing brokerages.

The VN-Index, the benchmark measure of the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, slumped 27 percent last year.

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