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VietNamNews

Firms face long road to listing shares in London

Update: September, 28/2012 - 10:36

HA NOI (VNS)— Vietnamese enterprises face some significant challenges before they will qualify to list shares on the London Stock Exchange, the Lord Mayor of London, David Wootton, told a meeting in HCM City on Wednesday.

The London stock market – with around 600 non-British enterprises and accounting for 30 per cent of international foreign exchange trading – would offer an opportunity for Vietnamese companies to list shares abroad, Wootton said.

But there were many challenges facing Vietnamese enterprises, including their current inability to meet the market's auditing and accounting standards, said a representative of London-based accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers at the meeting. Poor corporate governance and a lack of transparency would also scare investors away from the stocks, he said.

Claire Suddens-Spiers, director of independent financial advisory firm Rothschild, said that Vietnamese companies needed to demonstrate stable equity which grew over time. Vietnamese businesses seeking to raise capital on the London market also needed to pay attention to legal requirements regarding company structure, financial statements and corruption.

Although British management rules were not applied to non-British companies, investors always expected listed companies to be governed by similar standards, said lawyers from the online Vietnamese firm thoimocua.com.

"They need separation between the company chairman and CEO and at least two independent directors," they said.

Apart from listing shares, Vietnamese companies could raise capital through issuing bonds or global depository receipts (GDRs). Last year, over 23.3 million GDRs from property developer Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG) were listed on the London Stock Exchange. — VNS

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