AN OVERVIEW OF THE VIETNAM STOCK MARKET – A ONE STOP GUIDE.

Searching for information on the Vietnam stock market can throw up a confusing array of acronyms on various indices, different stock exchanges, market caps in dong or USD, unfamiliar stock codes etc. This blog post will break down a lot of information in giving an overview of the Vietnam stock market. A lot of basic information tends to get scattered across too many places, here are a lot more of the common questions answered covered in one place here. It will provide a good backdrop in exploring how to invest in the Vietnam stock market.

DOES VIETNAM HAVE A STOCK MARKET?

Since this is almost the first post of my blog, let’s address a common question I hear, does Vietnam have a stock market? It is an interesting question to start with, as it kind of has more than a couple! Let me explain below:

how many stock exchanges in vietnam are there?

Read further on to see how Vietnam has two large large stock exchanges in the main cities of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. In addition to that there is an Unlisted Public Market.

WHAT IS THE STOCK MARKET IN VIETNAM?

The largest stock exchange in Vietnam is the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE). It does not have a long history when we compare it to more developed stock exchanges, with HOSE being established in the year 2000. The market cap surpassed USD 160 billion in late 2020 and had around 500 listed securities at that time.

The Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) was established later in 2005 and comparatively much smaller and tends to attract smaller companies. Late last year was still a fraction below USD 10 billion with around 350 listings.

Note that there is also a market for companies that are not considered listed in Vietnam. The Unlisted Public Market (UPCoM) contains a lot of companies. In 2020 this totaled approximately 900 companies with a market cap of more than USD 70 billion. This was setup initially in 2009. Sometimes stocks could even move from the HOSE / HNX to UPCoM if for example they are delisted / suspended.

What is the VN Index?

The VN Index is probably the most common one you come across when reading about the Vietnam stock exchange. It is a capitalization weighted index and commenced with a base value of 100 in the year 2000 and comprises of all the companies listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE).

What is the FTSE Vietnam Index series?

The FTSE Vietnam Index Series represents the performance of Vietnamese companies trading on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange. The family includes:

FTSE Vietnam All-Share Index – this is a broad market benchmark covering the top 90% of the eligible universe by full market capitalisation (before the application of investability weightings).

FTSE Vietnam Index – this index covers a subset of the FTSE Vietnam All-Share Index, which comprises companies that have sufficient foreign ownership availability and meet specified liquidity requirements.

The indexes are suitable for benchmarking purposes and for use as tools in the creation of index-tracking funds and derivatives.

What is the MSCI Vietnam Index?

The MSCI Vietnam Index is designed to measure the performance of the large and mid-cap segments of the Vietnamese market. With 20 constituents, the index covers approximately 85% of the Vietnam equity universe.

Broad sector exposure overview of the Vietnam stock market

Well we need to be clear in that it depends how you think about the Vietnam stock market, do you view it more like the widely quoted VN Index? Or do you think about it more like how indices providers like MSCI / FTSE make further adjustments to more reflect the “investability” in terms of fund managers getting set?

I shall explore the various views.

Firstly if I take the FTSE Vietnam Index, as I explained earlier, it would look something like this:

Source: DWS Xtrackers, data as at Dec 2020.

If I were to look at the MSCI Vietnam Index, the sector breakdown at May 2021 is as follows:

Source: MSCI, data as at May 2021.

Vietnam stock market sector breakdown across wider range of securities across all exchanges

I came across this slide from an investment webinar I tuned in on from the Asia Frontier Capital Vietnam Fund a month or so ago.

The data however is from February 2020 so that explains why the market cap figures here don’t quite reconcile to some of my earlier comments about market caps of the Vietnam stock exchanges. (Vietnam stock prices are much higher now compared to end of February 2020). It still is a good reflection about sector exposures.

A key takeaway is that I have noticed when looking at the market in broader terms than say FTSE / MSCI indices, the market has a larger exposure to banks / financials.

Here is the slide from the Asia Frontier Capital Vietnam Fund. (By the way I have no affiliation with them, but it might be worth looking up their website for some of their work in Vietnam and other frontier markets). I plan to take a closer look at their fund in a blog post in the future.

is there a vietnam etf? / does vietnam have an index fund?

The most common way that beginners would invest in the Vietnam stock market is via Vietnam exchange traded funds. (ETFs)

WHAT IS THE ETF IN VIETNAM?

One of the largest Vietnam stock market ETFs is the Vaneck Vectors Vietnam ETF.

What is the VNM ETF? (VanEck Vectors Vietnam ETF)?

VNM is one of the most common Vietnam stock ETFs that you will come across on your searches.

It was established in 2009 as a US exchange traded ETF to broadly reflect exposures of the Vietnam stock market. As it needs to handle liquidity flows like all open-ended funds it reflects the more larger and liquid names. Also a key point to note on that front is that is also includes companies that may have been incorporated outside of Vietnam, but have at least 50% of their revenues / assets in Vietnam.

Is VNM ETF a buy?

I intend to blog about this more at a later date as it has attracted so many investors. To give some quick perspective on the breakdown of this ETF and how it fits in with some of the indices I have described I will include the current breakdown at May 2021 below:

Source: Vaneck

Vietnam Stock Market Valuations

Most references to the broad market valuation measures such as P/E, price to book etc will tend to refer to the VN Index.

Is the Vietnam stock market cheap? Should I invest in the Vietnam stock market?

As a rule of thumb I have tended to find the large cap stocks in Vietnam trade at higher P/Es.

Just getting back to the Asian Frontier Capital Vietnam Fund that I touched on earlier, I find it interesting that they have put together a portfolio that is far cheaper than the index on certain quantitative measures.

For instance, looking at below we can see their fund has a P/E of half the index P/E which the latter is about 18 times.

Source: Asia Frontier Capital

Looking at some of the valuation metrices using forward estimates of earnings out to 2022, we can see some valuations expressed in a different way below.

The below chart is from VinaCapital which I discussed in the very first blog post on this website here. https://vietnamesestockmarket.com/2021/06/05/how-i-invested-in-the-vietnam-stock-market-in-the-past-future-topics/.

WHAT ARE THE LARGEST COMPANIES IN VIETNAM?

Are they considered the best stocks to buy in Vietnam?

Well the second question above I hope to formulate more an opinion on in later blog posts as I take more time to research.

In terms of the biggest 10 companies listed on the Vietnam stock market I came up with the following now:

Largest 10 companies listed on the Vietnam stock market.

  1. Vingroup Joint Stock Company (HOSE:VIC)
  2. Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (HOSE:VCB)
  3. Vinhomes Joint Stock Company (HOSE:VHM)
  4. Hoa Phat Group Joint Stock Company (HOSE:HPG)
  5. Vietnam Commercial Bank For Industry And Trade (HOSE:CTG)
  6. Commercial Bank For Investment And Development Of Vietnam (HOSE:BID)
  7. Vietnam Technological And Commercial Bank (HOSE:TCB)
  8. Vietnam Diary Products Joint Stock Company (HOSE:VNM)
  9. Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (HOSE:VPB)
  10. Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corporation (HOSE:GAS)

This list above gives you a bit of a sense about some of the big listed companies in Vietnam. You can probably now get a feel for what some of them may do, and a top-level picture of some of the main sectors of the Vietnam stock market.

SHARESIGHT REVIEW

As discussed in recent blog posts, I am a shareholder in the VinaCapital Vietnam Opportunity Fund. To read more about my experiment tracking the performance of that and other Vietnam related exposures in my portfolio, check out the following link:

SHARESIGHT PORTFOLIO TRACKER REVIEW 2022 – VIETNAM STOCK MARKET (vietnamesestockmarket.com)

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Whilst to date Vietnam stocks are not covered, if you own stocks on exchanges such as Australia, Canada, UK, US, NZ, HK, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia like I have this could be exactly what you are looking for to keep track of them.

Please note this is an affiliate relationship between this site and Sharesight so I will receive a small commission.

Is Vietnam a good investment?

In a future blog post I shall aim to provide more of a short commentary on these companies to further understand what they do. This shall hopefully provide a good backdrop of knowledge as I continue to explore how best to invest in the Vietnam stock market in many different ways.

Thanks for reading again and please feel free to chat in the comments area below.

To stay updated on my journey on how to best invest in the Vietnam stock market, please feel free to enter your email address in the subscriber area below to be notified of posts I make. (I will not spam your inbox, at the very most there might be a weekly update).

Thanks!

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