Vietnam's stock market on track to hit $100 billion by end of 2016

By    October 31, 2016 | 12:29 am PT
Vietnam's stock market on track to hit $100 billion by end of 2016
The VN Index has climbed 19 percent since the end of last year, the most among the major benchmark indexes in Southeast Asia.

Companies listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, one of the main bourses, were valued at $62.2 billion at the end of trading on Friday, an increase of $10.8 billion since the end of 2015, according to market data.

“Market capitalization has reached about VND1,687 trillion ($75.5 billion), an increase of 24 percent from the end of last year and equal to 40 percent of gross domestic product. These figures represent good signs for the stock market,” said Deputy Finance Minister Vu Thi Mai on Friday.

Statistics show the HNX index, the smaller bourse in Hanoi, has jumped 7 percent in the past 12 months spurred by a surge in individual investors and the government’s latest privatization push.

Vietnam is in the process of merging its two major stock exchanges in the belief that the single bourse will boost the growth of its capital market, said Mai.

The newly launched VNX Allshare has a total of 451 listed companies, including 237 from the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) and 214 from the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX).

A derivatives market will also be introduced next year, she added.

According to the State Securities Commission (SSC), Vietnam has outperformed other Southeast Asian markets to become the fastest growing in the region with a projected market capitalization of more than $100 billion in 2016, or 55 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Data shows that the 10 richest people on the stock market are holding $3.7 billion. Just last year, it took 500 rich guys on the stock market to hold that much wealth.

Stocks are beating gold and real estate in terms of returns, broker Phan Dung Khanh told Thanh Nien newspaper.

But most locals are sitting out. Only about 2 percent of Vietnamese people were investing in stocks as of the end of September, according to the Vietnam Securities Depository.

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