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Vietnam Appoints Chairman of Securities Commission

Vietnam's Prime Minister Phan Van Khai has appointed Tran Xuan Ha to be the chairman of the State Securities Commission (SSC) from February 2005. Earlier, Ha held the post of vice chairman and acting chairman of the commission.

Ha was promoted to the post of acting chairman last February when the commission moved under the management of the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

Last year was considered a successful year for Vietnam's stock market with more than 20,000 accounts opened at securities companies. More foreign investors got involved in share transactions, accounting for 48% of the total share value.

The Ho Chi Minh City Securities Trading Center, Vietnam's unique stock exchange so far, also bounced back in the year with VN-Index reaching 239.29 points on December 31, 2004, an increase of 43% over the figure of December 31, 2003.

The total trading value in the center in 2004 was VND20 trillion ($1.3 billion), representing a rise of 6.6 times from 2003.

SSC will put into operation the country's second bourse namely Hanoi Securities Trading Center (HSTC) on March 8. The new bourse is expected to bring more investment choices for both local and foreign investors.

The SSC estimated by that this year will see around 40 firms to be listed on both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi securities trading centers. To date, there have been 26 stocks listed on the first bourse in Ho Chi Minh City with combined market capitalization of $243.4 million, and 207 government bonds valued at around $1.6 billion. (VietStock, VNS Feb 16 p14, VoV Feb 16)