Equitised state-owned enterprises (SOEs) would be able to be listed directly on the stock market and skip the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCOM) if they were qualified, an official told Securities Investment magazine.

Nguyen Quyet Tien, Deputy Head of the Corporate Finance Agency under the Ministry of Finance, was responding to concerns from many SOEs and their investors that were unsure if they would have to go through UPCOM before they listed on the stock market.

The issue arose after SOEs were required to list on UPCOM prior to the national stock exchanges after they were equitised, according to the Decision 51/2014/QD-TTg issued by the Prime Minister last September.

Tien said that SOEs should regard UPCOM as a benchmark, not a compulsory requirement.

SOEs could skip UPCOM and be listed directly on the stock exchanges if they were financially qualified after being equitised, he said.

If they were not financially strong enough, they would need to enter UPCOM first and try to meet the financial criteria set by the SSC in order to be listed on the stock exchanges, he said.

Tien also said that the financial criteria were stated in Decree 58/2012/ND-CP which was issued in July 2012.

Under the Decree, companies need to have 120 billion VND (5.5 million USD) in charter capital and been operating and profitable for at least two years as a joint stock company.

Those that are qualified to be listed on HOSE, are also eligible to be listed on the Hanoi Stock Exchange.

Tien said the decision aimed to impose sanctions on companies that did not prepare to be listed after being equitised.

He said that the decision would ensure the rights and benefits of shareholders were protected, and that companies operated transparently after they were equitised.-VNA