Securities firms are rushing to upgrade infrastructure and develop new products to woo as many investors as possible.

Sai Gon-Hanoi Securities Company (SHS) has launched fee bonuses in its newly built HCM City branch over the last two months as part of its strategy to lure more investors.

The company will focus on promoting consultancy services by launching daily online meetings between the headquarters and its branches to overview market happenings, said the company's director Nguyen Quang Vinh.

With the daily overview, it will set up a list of promising investment portfolios to provide information for clients, Vinh said.

Meanwhile, SME Securities said it will direct its development as an investment bank.

Other companies like FPT Securities and VNDirect Securities are keen on developing new market driven products and services.

For example, both companies have launched mobile trading services for investors interested in making transactions over their mobile phones.

"Investors are making higher demands and they are more particular about choosing a securities company to open accounts with," said Nguyen Huy Duong, deputy director of a Hanoi-based securities firm.

Without changes to products and technology, the broker will kill themselves in this competitive market, especially as investors can easily run to other companies, he said.

Nhuan Phat, a veteran investor with SME Securities, said that the fee bonuses or new service launches are just initial support, while investors put more focus on the company's technical infrastructure.

"By owning an advanced and stable technical system, investors feel safe when they use the company's services. This is how we retain them."

"Companies offering promotional programmes will lure investors, but over time, those with a stable, long-built backgrounds will retain investors for longer," said Nguyen Thuy Hang, a marketing official with a HCM City-based marketing company.

Hang said the upgrades are essential but they shouldn't be turned into a rush between companies to lure investors. "The real ability of a company will be realised through the market."

An anonymous general director of a giant securities firm said that each company with its own strategy to woo investors will make the competition more interesting. Those that can't afford the competition will be left behind, he said.

As a rule, better days are ahead and investors will be the first beneficiaries, the director said. /.