The HCM Stock Exchange has received the Labour Order, First Class, for its contribution to the growth of not only the stock market but also the economy since its inception in July 2000.

Speaking at a function to mark the bourse's 10th anniversary on July 20, its general director, Tran Dac Sinh, said the exchange's most important achievement was setting up a market that has proved fair, transparent, and increasingly liquid.

More than 2,300 trading sessions have been held, with more than 1,000 trillion VND (55 billion USD) worth securities changing hands.

"We have … a combined market capitalisation of 570 trillion VND, up almost 380 times from the end of 2001," Sinh said.

Since information is the key in the market, the exchange has been paying great attention to company disclosures, he said.

HOSE began online trading early last year, a big step from the early days when there were just three trading days a week.

It has helped firms raise almost 37 trillion VND either via public offerings or private placements, representing 6.4 percent of the current market cap.

HOSE has also done good work in terms of international co-operation and promotion of the Vietnamese stock market outside the country.

It has signed 20 memoranda of understanding with foreign stock exchanges and organisations. It is a member of the Asian and Oceanian Stock Exchanges Federation and a founding member of the ASEAN Stock Exchange CEO Forum.

Thirty listed companies won awards for best annual reports and received them at the function.

Selected from among a 540 companies that participated in the third Annual Report Award contest organised by the Dau Tu Chung Khoan newspaper and fund management company Dragon Capital, they include 24 listed in HCM City .

The HOSE-listed pharmaceutical company Duoc Hau Giang (listing code DHG) received the Special Award.

SSI, STB, PVD, TTF, and EIB in HCM City and ACB, SHB, and VCS in Hanoi won Most Excellent awards while the rest won Best awards.

SSI also won the prize for Most Impressive Report.

The awards were based on both report content and design.

Le Nhi Nang, HOSE's deputy general director and head of the award committee, said the quality of reports has improved in terms of information, structure, and design compared to the last two years.

Nguyen Anh Tuan, Dau Tu Chung Khoan's chief editor noted that businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the role of reports in marketing their image to investors, partners, and the public./.