FOREIGN investors are now allowed to hold a maximum 30 per cent of listed shares in the country’s fledgling stock market. Signed by Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, analysts said the decision was one of many wide-ranging attempts to boost the ailing stock market since it was launched in July 2000. Foreigners were quick to welcome the move. KPMG senior partner Warrick Cleine said: “Relaxation of foreign investment restrictions in the country’s listed shares is most welcome. “There are many successful Vietnamese companies that would benefit from a closer relationship with their foreign partners. “This will especially benefit those companies that use foreign technology, trade contacts or experience.” The need for such a decision was shown when the government recently allowed Sacombank and British-backed Dragon Capital to establish the $500,000 Viet-Fund Management Company. (See related story on P.15). Over the past three years, the country’s stock market has attracted 21 equitised firms’ shares and two bonds from the government and the state-owned Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam with total market capitalisation up to VND6.6 trillion ($425 million). But, according to State Securities Commission (SSC) chairman Nguyen Duc Quang, such figures are still too small compared to what the…
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