HÀ NỘI — Foreign investors remain positive about the prospects for Việt Nam’s stock market as the country grows and adopts more open policies, foreign CEOs said in a discussion panel at the ASEAN Business Summit last week.
Dominic Scriven, CEO of Dragon Capital, said Việt Nam was still a frontier market, so there will be many changes and opportunities in the future.
Though international trade slowed down in 2015 and things will probably be rough next year because governments have failed to bring the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) into effect, the prospect for Việt Nam’s exports is good because the country has advantages over other economies, he said.
Positive economic growth will help Việt Nam attract a huge inflow of foreign capital as it is among the strongest growing economies in Asia and domestic businesses have plenty of opportunities in the future, Scriven said.
The outlook was also positive for Vietnamese stocks, which are valued at reasonable price levels and the Government has shown its commitment to implement strong reform policies for the securities market, he added.
The benchmark VN Index has fallen 50 per cent since its peak of more than 1,170 points in March 2007, and it can increase by 10-20 per cent in the next five years, Scriven said.
Kevin Snowball, CEO of investment fund PXP Vietnam Asset Management, said the Government has done well to help the local stock market rise better than other regional markets, although some investors still consider the local market a risky proposition.
Việt Nam is still an attractive destination for foreign investors as the country’s economy is on positive growth trend and large-cap companies such as dairy producer Vinamilk have engaged in good corporate governance, he said.
As a foreign investor, Snowball said he expects local companies to become more creative and improve their governance mechanisms to international standards.
Lifting the domestic stock market from the “frontier” level to “emerging” level has been a tough task for the Government, securities-market agencies and market members.
According to the Bảo Việt Securities Company, Việt Nam needs to improve its performance in several aspects to convince international marketwatch organisations to raise the country’s level from frontier to emerging market.
These include lifting limits on foreign ownership in local companies, providing them with a level playing field, implementation of transaction settlements, development of a derivatives market and better information disclosure. — VNS