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Stock market faces bumpy ride in second half of 2022



Traders watching stock movements on trading boards at Bảo Việt Securities Co in Hà Nội. — / Photo Trần Việt

HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese stock market has gone through nearly half of 2022 with turbulence and remarkable events, especially the Government’s crackdown on illegal activities manipulating the market.

At the moment, the market is struggling as both liquidity and the benchmark index fall sharply. Experts said that monetary policy tightening from the US Federal Reserve (Fed), prolonged Russia-Ukraine conflict and China’s zero COVID policy will indirectly affect the country’s stock market.

Stock market crackdown

In the first half of 2022, many big business owners such as Đỗ Thành Nhân, Chairman of the Board of Louis Holdings Group and Lê Anh Dũng, President of Tân Hoàng Minh Group, were arrested for illegal activities in the stock and corporate bond market.

These cases showed the determination of the Government on cleaning up the market.

The Government has carried out measures to promote the upgrade of the market during the 2024-25 period, including disclosing securities enterprises’ proprietary trading data, issuing warnings on stocks with dramatic increases or declines, and changing the calculation method of VN30 futures contracts. The measures are expected to help the stock market increase liquidity and information transparency.

The crackdown is considered practical, resolving many chronic bottlenecks and strengthening the sustainability of the market.

Representatives of the World Bank (WB) and FTSE Russell have committed to further supporting Việt Nam to build a sustainable stock market, particularly via regular exchange and coordination in the market upgrade.

They made the commitment at a recent working session with the State Securities Commission (SSC), during which the sides discussed the actual situation, and efforts made to remove bottlenecks in support of the Vietnamese stock market’s status upgrade process.

WB and FTSE Russell representatives said they highly appreciate the efforts of local management agencies and market members in upgrading the market from a marginal to an emerging one. They also proposed some solutions for the improvement of the market toward the upgrade.

Minister of Finance Hồ Đức Phớc said that the stock market has grown well, with a strong rise in the number of new accounts and the market’s average liquidity. However, there were manipulation activities on the stock and derivative markets.

Many stocks were boosted without relation to business situations, while information disclosure obligations of public companies, listed firms and investors were not completely followed.

The Ministry of Finance is working on amending and supplementing Decree No. 153/2020/NĐ-CP on private offering and trading of corporate bonds in the domestic and international markets.

In recent years, the stock market has attracted attention from local citizens. They are retail investors, but play important roles in the development of the market. However, they are a vulnerable group when the stock market is manipulated.

Challenges ahead

Even though the number of new accounts is surging, the country’s stock market is struggling.

Data from the Vietnam Security Depository (VSD) showed that in the first five months of this year, retail investors opened 1.38 million accounts, 2.5 times higher than last year. The amount was nearly equal to the number of new accounts for the whole of 2021, which was 1.53 million accounts.

As of the end of May, the total of accounts opened covered around 5.7 per cent of the population.

Therefore, the Government’s target of 5 per cent of the population investing in the stock market by 2025 is completed three years early. The next target of the market development strategy by 2030 is 8 per cent.

But the market experienced a great tumble in May with the benchmark VN-Index temporarily setting the lowest of the year at 1,156.54 points, down more than 32 per cent from its peak on January 6 of 1,528.6 points.

In June, the market is still in negative territory as the liquidity drops and the VN-Index hovered around 1,200 points. The index ended Monday at 1,202.82 points.

Mirae Asset Securities Việt Nam said that supply chain disruptions, strict COVID-19 rules in China, prolonged Russia-Ukraine war, sanctions on Russia, interest rate hikes from major global central banks and slowing economic growth amid high inflation are causes of the downside.

In addition, the investigations of the violations on the local stock market and the tightening conditions to issue bonds also weighed on investors’ sentiment.

Many experts and public companies said that the market will see fluctuations and new shocks or tread water with low liquidity. Accordingly, at the end of 2022, the VN-Index is expected to grow by under 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, Vietnam Report JSC said that despite a more cautious outlook for the stock market due to current challenges, there are still some positive factors.

In the second half of 2022, the growth of industries affected by the pandemic is expected to be positive compared to the low of 2021, while it is believed that the disbursement of public investment is also accelerated.

The 2 per cent interest rate support package provides more momentum for stock market growth in particular and economic growth in general, if it is implemented as planned. —



An Cuong Wood to list neary 134 mln shares on HOSE

An Cuong Wood-Working JSC will list 135.85 million shares on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HoSE) on September 28.



An Cuong Wood-Working, which holds 55% of the market for decorative materials and industrial wood, announced the first six month revenue of VND1,915 billion ($80 million), up  12% and a 17.4% increase in after-tax profit to VND279 billion ($11.7 million).

Since this firm enjoys the benefit of name and brand recognition in the industry, leadership claimed that they are not particularly interested in the low-end category.

With an aim of building 30 more showrooms between 2022 and 2025, the Vietnamese enterprise An Cuong Wood already operates almost 30 showrooms around the country, mostly in Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City.

Builders, construction units, and agents account for 69% of the income generated by customers, followed by export customers (15%), consumer customers (5%), and real estate developers like Vingroup (11%). As of June 30, there were 2,962 persons working for the entire firm.

To enhance capacity, the firm is marketing the export market. With a concentration on the US, An Cuong Wood has exported goods to 15 nations.

By 2025, it’s anticipated that exports would account for 15–18% of overall income. The firm aspires to generate $300 million in sales by 2025 through a strategy of consistently growing its product line and finding new markets.

The profit after tax for An Cuong Wood- Working is VND947 billion ($40 million). The business continues to invest an additional VND393 billion ($16.5 million) in the first half of 2022 to acquire 30% of Central Hill Real Estate Company.

The leadership determined that the goal of VND550 billion ($23 million) in profit was realistic and anticipated that it will be exceeded by 10% to 20%. This will be the wood industry’s finest outcome ever.


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Vietnamese dong ranked among currencies with lowest depreciation: SBV



Among the countries in the region and worldwide grappling with currency depreciation, the Vietnamese dong is listed in a group with the smallest devaluation, Pham Chi Quang, deputy director of the Monetary Policy Department under the State Bank of Vietnam, told a press briefing late last week.

In the year to date, the dong dropped by nearly 4 percent against the U.S. dollar, much lower than other currencies, said Quang.

After the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) hiked interest rates by 75 basis points on September 21, many nations followed suit.

In the past nine months, the Taiwanese dollar, the Japanese yen, the Philippine peso and the euro have lost 13.5 percent, 25 percent, 13.65 percent and 13.49 percent, respectively, against the greenback.

“The Vietnamese dong is one of the currencies reporting the lowest depreciation in the region and the world, at some 4 percent,” Quang stressed.

After the Fed’s move, a number of the central banks of many nations such as Thailand, Norway and Indonesia raised key interest rates to tame inflation.

Dao Minh Tu, deputy governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, said that many countries’ rate hikes are expected to take a toll on Vietnam’s foreign exchange rates.

Following the Fed’s rate spike, the central bank decided to set new interest rate caps on deposits.

The highest rate for savings from one month to fewer than six months is 5 percent per year, up 1 percentage point, taking effect from September 23.

“The central bank will continue to control its currency in a flexible and appropriate manner to stabilize foreign exchange rates and ensure a reasonable and legal supply of foreign currencies for firms and residents,” Tu affirmed.

The central bank’s top mission for the control over monetary policy is curbing inflation and stabilizing the economy, Tu added.

Besides, the banking system will focus on supporting enterprises with their post-COVID-19 recovery, contributing to reaching the full-year target of the country’s economic growth at 6.5 percent set by the National Assembly.

To ease fears over a spike in lending rates after the deposit rate cap hikes, the central bank will continue to maintain interest rate stability, said the representative of the central bank.

Tu also added that lending rates will follow the move of domestic and foreign inflation in a suitable way.

Further, the central bank will continue to encourage credit institutions to cut operating costs to lower lending rates for the government’s priorities, including small and medium enterprises and firms active in agriculture.

“We called on commercial banks for a cost-cutting plan to slash lending rates to share difficulties with customers. This has been implemented well over the past two years, with VND25 trillion ($1.05 billion) in lending rate reduction,” said Tu.

The credit growth target will be kept at 14 percent this year. In the year to date, the nation’s credit has jumped by over 10 percent.

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Trade ministry aims to bring Vietnam Rice trademark into high-end markets



Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade is drafting a strategy to increase the country’s direct rice export rate and boost the sale of the Vietnam Rice national brand to high-end markets by 2030.

The trade ministry is making a draft strategy to develop Vietnam’s rice export until 2030, which highlights many solutions for boosting demand through negotiations, entering new markets, and increasing exports with a tariff reduction road map.

By 2025, the proportion of low- and medium-grade white rice will have accounted for no more than 15 percent of the country’s rice exports, while high-grade and fragrant rice, japonica rice, and specialty rice will constitute 40 percent.

Rice with high added value such as nutritious rice, parboiled rice, organic rice, and processed products will make up five percent.

By 2030, the direct export of rice will have generated 60 percent of the country’s rice export turnover, while products under the Vietnam Rice trademark will account for 25 percent.

To realize these goals, Vietnam needs to implement policies related to agricultural land, attract investment, promote mechanization and high technology in production, develop more rice varieties, and effectively use the Vietnam Rice trademark, the trade ministry stated.

Certain requirements in production and processing should be established to make sure that the quality of rice meets standards of the country as well as of demanding markets such as the European Union.

The development strategy also focuses on restructuring the rice industry and agricultural production, as well as providing solutions for the production and control of pesticide residues toward the implementation of clean agricultural production.

In addition, the country will tighten the management of imported rice via non-tariff measures and technical barriers.

Vietnam has grown and exported rice for many years, Nguyen Thanh Phuoc, head of the Sub-Department of Cultivation and Plant Protection in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, stated, adding that it is a pity that no rice brand has become the national trademark.

The rice cultivation skills of local farmers have improved, and it is not difficult to produce high-quality rice varieties, Phuoc continued.

In order to have large output and stable quality, export businesses need to cooperate closely with farmers, the official proposed.

Farmers and businesses must play the central roles in boosting the exports of products under the Vietnam Rice brand, said Vo Cong Thuc, head of the food quality management department of Loc Troi Group, a manufacturer and supplier of agricultural products and services.

After noticing the positive signals from the European market, Loc Troi Group has boosted its investment into local farmers to ensure the interests of both sides.

If farmers do not comply with European rice export standards, businesses will suffer losses as they fail to provide high-quality products for their partners.

Farmers’ compliance with international standards of farmers is decisive in producing high-quality rice grains and increasing the value of Vietnam’s rice export in the global market, Thuc remarked.

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