Securities companies have been opening increased numbers of local branches and transaction offices despite a declining stock market and a lack of profits.

Around 61 out of 105 securities firms have posted accumulated second quarter losses, according to the State Securities Commission. Around 20 firms, including Thang Long Securities, ACB Securities, Sacombank Securities, SME Securities and Wall Street Securities, closed their local branches due to shrinking market shares and the loss of broker and customer accounts.

Some companies did manage some profits. They continued efforts in increasing their market shares while promoting investment in preparation for a new market rally.

Saigon Securities Inc suffered losses during the first quarter and yet managed to crawl back to No 1 position in terms of its brokerage market share. The company is set to focus on brokerage services by opening two more transaction offices in Hanoi and a new branch in HCM City .

The Kim Eng Vietnam Securities Co opened three more branches in Da Nang City , Can Tho and Vung Tau, bringing its total number of offices to nine.

"We see great potential in the Vietnamese stock market. We are not dealing in an adventurous paradox, but in long-term competitive strategy," company CEO, Le Minh Tam, said.

In order to expand operations without risk, Tam suggested securities firms focus on core functions while letting banks manage their customer accounts instead.

Expanding the network of branches and transaction offices was an effective way of attracting more customers, since only a few securities companies operated in key economic areas such as Da Nang City , Can Tho and Vung Tau, he said.

Kim Eng was one of the few securities companies to supply investors with information via a series of seminars on economy, corporate management and market trends.

Most other securities firms usually only managed to produce superficial analysis reports, according to Le Hai Tra, a board member of the HCM Stock Exchange, who responded to a Dien dan Doanh nghiep (Enterprises Forum) interview. /.