HCMC stock exchange wants to raise minimum trading lot

By Minh Son   March 3, 2021 | 05:00 pm PT
HCMC stock exchange wants to raise minimum trading lot
An investor looks at stock prices on the screens at a brokerage in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Vietnam’s main bourse, the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, wants to increase the minimum trading lot from 100 shares to 1,000 to ease its overload.

Le Hai Tra, CEO of the exchange, said: "This is the path that developed markets such as Japan, Taiwan and Singapore have all been through."

The move could reduce the number of transactions by 40-50 percent, he said.

Just this year the exchange increased the minimum lot from 10 to 100 to cope with the surge in the number of new investors in recent months. Trading averaged VND14.3 trillion ($620 million) a day last month, nearly four times the value a year earlier.

But despite the change investors continued to report delays, especially in the afternoon when trading value rises to around VND15 trillion.

The Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) recently offered to take over some stocks from the HoSE to ease the pressure.

HoSE’s system has mostly remained unchanged over the last 20 years. It can handle a maximum of 900,000 transactions a day.

The bourse is upgrading at a cost of $30 million, but the Covid-19 pandemic is delaying the work, which will not be completed at least until year end.

When it sought to increase the trading lot to 100, the Vietnam Association of Financial Investors had voiced concern, saying it would deny new investors the opportunity to practice trading with small volumes.

A minimum trading volume of 1,000 means small investors would not be able to afford shares trading at high prices like budget airline Vietjet, electronics retail chain Mobile World and conglomerate Vingroup.

There are 12 shares currently trading at over VND100,000. Thus, an investor would have to put up VND100.5-230.5 million to buy 1,000 of these.

Vietnam had 2.86 million stock trading accounts at the end of January, 20 percent up from a year earlier and equivalent to 2.94 percent of its population. Last year the ratio of HoSE’s total market cap to GDP was 67.59 percent.

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