Nov 11, 2012

Vietnam - More brokerages have operations suspended

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The State Securities Commission temporarily suspended operations at two brokerages in October - Golden Bridge Vietnam and Trang An Securities - due to their inability to pay transaction fees.

Other firms have also volunteered to cease operations. Last Friday, Au Viet Securities Co (AVS) decided to terminate its membership on both the HCM City and Ha Noi stock exchanges, which meant the company itself halted brokerage services.

If the situation did not improve by next June, the company would have to weigh up its options and consider shifting to another industry, said chairman Dao Duc Vinh.

"We're trying to be optimistic, but the outlook for the Vietnamese stock market is unclear," he added. "We have not written off the possibility of dissolving the company."

The same thing happened to Cho Lon Securities, who had to transfer all investor accounts to HCM City Securities (HCM). "Competing in the current market conditions requires more capital which is hardly feasible as shareholders have been discouraged by meagre trading," it said.

In addition, some firms have also announced the withdrawal of brokerage operations, such as Truong Son, Ha Noi, Gia Anh and Dong Duong.

Brokering is the main income source for securities firms, but with trading value on the national stock exchanges totalling only VND500-600 billion (US$23.8-28.5 million) per session, it creates very low profits.To add to this, the top 10 securities firms already account for 60 per cent of market share, leaving the remaining 90 companies battling for the remaining 40 per cent.

Of the 100 companies to release their financial reports in the third quarter, over half reported losses.

Troubled securities firms wanted to be bought out by larger companies, but it was difficult to make this happen, Nguyen Van Thuan, head of HCM City Open University's Banking and Finance Department, told the website

For foreign investors, there is little incentive for them to buy out struggling companies when they have been given the green light to establish their own firms.

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