Vietnam Commodity Exchange (VNX), the first of its kind in the country, began operations on Jan. 11 in Ho Chi Minh City.

"We're the first commodity exchange founded under the law and regulations of the Government," said the General Director of VNX, Nguyen Duy Phuong.

VNX will manage transactions in Vietnam; provide businesses with more financial tools such as trade insurance; and ensure a balance between supply and demand.

It will provide businesses with information on the current industrial and economic situation as well as consumer demands. Initially, the Ministry of Industry and Trade licensed VNX for transactions in coffee, rubber and steel, Phong said.

"VNX takes the same form and operation mechanism as other commodity exchange models around the world."

VNX would operate as a joint-stock company with an initial charter capital of 150 billion VND (7.5 million USD).

Phuong said VNX customers could trade spot contracts, futures contracts and derivatives.

The company would offer investors services linked to commodity futures contracts and options for commodity swaps as well as brokerage, goods evaluation, transactions, investment consulting, risk management, derivatives and financial support.

Phuong said trading on VNX would help customers ensure high quality for their products and cut transportation costs and travel expenses.

It would also help Vietnamese producers and manufacturers strengthen their positions in negotiations with foreign partners, he added. The company plans to open another trading centre in Hanoi./.