Overseas remittances have increased steadily year by year, and while a large proportion of remittances end up being invested in real estate, just a tiny proportion has been put into the nation's stock market, Gardners&Partners Investment Joint Stock Co general director Nguyen Tien Thanh has said.

Just five years ago, most remittances flowed directly into consumer spending, but more Vietnamese expatriates are now paying greater attention to investment opportunities in the home country, Thanh said.

Overseas remittances hit a record high of 9 billion USD in 2011, an impressive increase over 2010's 8 billion USD and accounting for 9 percent of the nation's GDP. This moved Vietnam into the list of the top 16 nations around the world in terms of overseas remittances received.

Almost 50 percent of these remittances last year were invested in the real estate sector while deposits in banks accounted for 24.7 percent and consumer spending 19.4 percent. Only 0.9 percent were put into the stock market.

Few Vietnamese expatriates are keen on Vietnam 's stock market due to heavy speculative tricks and insider trading, Thanh said. Many Vietnamese expatriates are also afraid to entrust money to investment or fund management companies for fear of wrongdoings.

"The possibility of detecting such deeds, and the penalty levels in Vietnam are limited," he said.

Overseas remittances are forecast to reach over 12 billion USD this year, Thanh said, and if only 10-20 percent of this amount are poured become the stock market, it can help the stock market become a more effective channel for enterprises to raise capital.

"It will take some time to lure this money into the stock market," he said. "The length of time will depend on how successfully the market can be reformed."/.