by Thuy Anh
HCM CITY (VNS)— The Invest ASEAN-Viet Nam 2013 forum of ASEAN exchanges took place on Saturday in HCM City, aimed at drawing investment capital to the region.
Speaking at the event held for the first time in Viet Nam, HCM Stock Exchange chairman Tran Dac Sinh noted the purpose of the event was to promote cross-border trading in the ASEAN community and attracting investment funds to the region.
“The event is to strengthen the awareness of the capital markets in ASEAN in the world’s financial market as well as to form identical capital markets in this area,” Sinh said.
Various regional initiatives had been worked out and implemented, including the website , broker networking programme and ASEAN Trading Link. Exchanges of Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand kicked off this link last year.
Chang Chiou Yi, regional strategist of CIMB Group (banking), Malaysia considers the ASEAN market has potential as the regional economies demonstrated resilience, powered by domestic demand, unemployment rates lowered.
The regional headline inflation was still manageable. Viet Nam had cut the rate down to 7 per cent in the first two months of 2013, from up to 18.7 per cent in 2011.
But she warned that pressures might build up to 8.3 per cent this year for Viet Nam, or to 4.3 per cent from 3.6 per cent for Singapore.
Phan Thi Tuong Tam, CEO of the city stock exchange said though it was a founding member of the link, Viet Nam had yet to participate in the trading. She expected the event would help relevant authorities and market players have more understanding about the role and benefits of the link, thus would work more actively toward the destination.
She said the fully extended ASEAN Trading Link would make it an asset class, thus more attractive to investors.
It took the three exchanges several years of preparation before joining the link, she said.
Nguyen Son, Head of market development of the State Securities Commission told reporters outside the conference that a specific date for Viet Nam had yet to be fixed and it needed a proper roadmap for Viet Nam to participate in the ASEAN Trading Link to ensure financial securities as the country’s growth level was still slower than several others in the region like Singapore.
“There exist gaps between our criteria on information disclosure, accounting and auditing and the international standards while Singapore has already adopted the international standards,” he said.
The participation also depended on the restructure/merger of the two exchanges in Ha Noi and HCM City, according to Son.
The foreign currency management regulations that tightly governed the capital flow in and out of the country would be an issue to address as well, he said.
He however noted that preparation had been under way, including the selection of bluechip companies to post on the joint website.
Viet Nam selected 15 companies from each of its exchanges, including the Asia Commercial Bank, Vietcombank, Bao Viet, Kinh Do Corp. and Hoang Anh Gia Lai.
The website – www.aseanexchanges.org allows investors to gain access to aggregated ASEAN market data and analytics, market performances of the seven ASEAN exchanges individually, broker research reports and FTSE (Financial Times Stock Exchange)/ASEAN Indices Weekly Report.
The website is built around the ASEAN Stars, the 180 blue-chip stocks (from six countries of Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Viet Nam), which represented the 30 most exciting companies of each ASEAN country as ranked by investability in terms of market capitalisation and liquidity.
The seven ASEAN exchanges (Viet Nam has two exchanges) have a combined market capitalisation of over US$1.6 trillion and more than 2,250 companies listed. Some of these companies are the largest and most dynamic companies in the world, including leaders in finance and banking, energy, telecommunications, commodities, automotive manufacturing and other industrial sectors. — VNS