The stock market development has contributed to accelerating the equitisation of State-owned enterprise and public investment restructure, but it can still play a greater role, heard a conference on stock market roles in Vietnam held in Ho Chi Minh City on May 15.

Fifteen years since its establishment, the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) now has over 300 listed companies have been listed on the HOSE with the total market capitalisation estimated at around 1,000 trillion VND (46.5 billion USD), representing 25 percent of the GDP. In 2014, HOSE reported an average 2.1 trillion VND worth of transactions each day. On average, listed firms have doubled their chartered capital.

However, some businesses at the event agreed that there are still limitations in the Vietnamese stock market, which prevent it from leveraging its roles in the economy to the fullest extent.

They said that banks and financial institutes still play a key role in mobilising capital for the economy, while the role of the stock market as a crucial source converging mid- and long-term funds for economic development is still neglected. In addition, the market has yet to carry out its role in connecting capital supply and demand as well as providing various investment opportunities.

Nguyen Duy Hung, chairman of Saigon Securities Inc., said listed companies as well as brokerages have to ensure the transparency of the information they disclose and its accuracy to protect investors.
Nguyen Thanh Long, vice chairman of the State Securities Committee, said listed firms need to abide by international accounting and auditing criteria to provide accurate information to investors.

Vietnam needed more institutional investors since they do not speculate and invest in value and are capable of guiding the market, he said.

Vu Viet Ngoan, chairman of the National Financial Supervisory Committee, said investor protection is one of the key factors in the healthy growth of the market as are policies related to corporate bankruptcy, access to capital, and implementation of the law.

The seminar, organised by HOSE and Saigon Securities Inc., is among programmes to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Vietnam's stock market, which began with the opening of the HCM Stock Exchange, formerly the HCM Securities Trading Center, in July 2000.-VNA