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Foreign investors may be able to own larger stakes in firms

Update: May, 09/2013 - 09:32

Sacombank's shareholder meeting 2013.—VNS File Photo

HA NOI (VNS)— In an effort to attract more capital, foreign ownership in listed companies may be lifted to more than 49 per cent and become more flexible in securities firms, according to the State Securities Commission.

Recently, activities by foreign investors have been the most powerful force on the Vietnamese stock market, securities analysts said. While the market is hungry for money, foreign ownership is limited to 49 per cent.

Under the new regulations, if foreign investors wish to hold more than 49 per cent of brokerages, they must buy the entire stakes of the companies.

However, market conditions require changes in the legal system. An official of the commission told Dau tu chung khoan (Securities Investment) publication administrative agencies were thinking of making the changes to Decision 55/2009/QD-TTg relating to foreign ownership on the stock market.

First, the amendments will allow foreign investors to hold more than 49 per cent without voting rights in a certain number of listed businesses. Applications will be considered based on types of enterprises and demand by Vietnamese firms.

Second, foreign investors will be able to own between 50-99 per cent in securities companies if both sides can agree. The watchdogs will then approve single cases rather than apply a rule to the entire market.

In addition, the commission official said the agency, along with stock exchanges and the Viet Nam Securities Depository, was developing new products, such as securities investment companies, real estate investment funds (deployed in July) and exchange-traded funds (deployed in September). — VNS

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