Vietnam to facilitate foreign share listings

TN News

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Vietnam plans to facilitate foreign invested firms to list their shares on the country's stock exchanges, says an official from the State Securities Commission.

Nguyen Son, head of the commission's Securities Market Development Department, said the watchdog has submitted to the government a proposal which provides detailed guidelines for foreign invested public businesses to list their shares.

"The proposal, if passed by the government, will remove obstacles for the businesses to join the Vietnamese stock market," Son told Thanh Nien Weekly.

The new decision is appreciated but its implementation circular should be introduced earlier or plans for listing by foreign invested businesses would be stuck, said Le Ngoc Chi, deputy head of Bao Viet Securities Company's Corporate Finance department.

Chi said many foreign invested public companies, his firm's potential clients, were interested in the new decision which opened the door wider for them to join the Vietnamese stock market.

They are keenly awaiting the implementation circular that would allow concerned agencies to license their listings, Chi said.

She said 100 percent - Korean padding, quilting and bedding firm Everpia, which owns the Everon brand, has been waiting for nearly eight months for permission from the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange to list on the stock maket.

"We hope the Korean firm will be the first foreign invested businesses to list its entire shares on the stock exchange and it will be a good example for others," said Chi.

Everpia Vietnam, founded in 1992 as Viko Glowin, plans to list 10.72 million shares with the book value of VND10,000 each with the assistance of Bao Viet Securities Company or BVSC, also a strategic shareholder.

In 2005, Taiwan-based Taya Electric Wire and Cable was the first foreign invested business to list its shares on the HCM Stock Exchange under the government's pilot scheme for the FDI sector.

Seven foreign invested firms including US-based mobile sensing technology provider Full Power, ceramic producer Chang Yih, Taiwanese Aluminum product manufacturer Tung Kuang and Korean Mirae Asset Financial Group have followed the scheme so far.

Under the pilot program, foreign invested firms were allowed to list shares valued at less than 20 percent of their chartered capital.

"We hope the new circular would allow them to list the rest," said Chi of BVSC which has helped half the foreign invested businesses that have listed their shares in Vietnam.

Economist Bui Kien Thanh said the government should support the foreign invested firms by allowing them to list all their shares on the nation's stock exchanges where they are able to seek capital for their investments in Vietnam besides offshore financial sources.

More than 450 businesses listed their shares in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi stock exchanges as of last year, according to the commission. The share capitalization of the market was VND620 trillion (US$32.7 billion), accounting for 38 percent of the country's gross domestic product, the commission said.

More than 11,500 foregin invested businesses are currently operating in the country, according to the Foreign Investment Agency.

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