With differing opinions about whether the Vietnam stock market should be given frontier or emerging market status, I thought it would be useful to see how it has evolved over its history. The Vietnam stock market has come a long way since its establishment more than 20 years ago, so let’s take a look at the history since then.
VIETNAM STOCK MARKET HISTORY TO 2023
Towards the end of the blog post I have even updated the chart of the Vietnam stock market to reflect the tough year we had in 2022!
Firstly, before we examine a historical timeline, let’s address the basic questions that pop up from investors that may never have considered investing in Vietnam before.
IS THERE A STOCK MARKET IN VIETNAM?
Yes on 20th of July in the year 2000, the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange Trading Centre was established. The first trading session was on the 28th of July, but with only two listed stocks!
WHAT IS THE VIETNAM STOCK MARKET CALLED?
Although it began as I mentioned just above as the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange Trading Centre, on 11th May 2007 the government decided trading would be done on what is now known as the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE). That is the abbreviation (HOSE) you now still see with the various stock exchange ticker codes. On August 8th, 2007, the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange was officially opened.
HOW MANY STOCK EXCHANGES ARE THERE IN VIETNAM?
The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) is one of 2 stock exchanges, and 3 markets for Vietnam companies. Vietnam also has the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) which was established later in 2005. This is comparatively a small fraction of the size of HOSE, and tends to attract much smaller companies.
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 and this was setup in 2009. Sometimes stocks could even move from the HOSE / HNX to UPCoM if for example they are delisted / suspended.
DOES VIETNAM HAVE A BOND MARKET?
Although the bond market in Vietnam was around in the early 2000s when the stock market got going, it was 2009 when it gained momentum. This was when bond trading moved to the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX). The corporate bond market is still relatively small, as government bonds account for circa 80-85% of bonds outstanding. After around 10 years of government bond trading on the HNX, government bonds grew to over 30% of GDP. That is a long way from the early 2000s when it was less than 5% of GDP.
For a long time the bond market focused largely on shorter dated tenors. In the last few years, it is making steps on further development such as benchmark 10-15 year issues and government bond futures contracts.
how did the vietnam war affect the stock market?
As suggested above and what we can also observe from the historical timeline table below, the establishment of the Vietnam stock market only occurred decades later after the war was over.
From the perspective of various global stock markets, it was a relatively tough time for stock market investors around this time during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Gains in real terms (after taking into account high inflation rates) were hard to come by.
TIMELINE OF THE HISTORY OF THE VIETNAM STOCK MARKET
|2000||Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange Trading Centre was established. VN-Index commences at same time.|
|2005||The Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) was established.|
|2006||Vietnam stock market boom gains momentum, increased speculation and foreign capital inflows. Gains of circa 150% in 2006.|
|2007||On August 8th, 2007, the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange was officially opened.|
|2008||VN-Index has a major stock market crash. From the peak in 2007 to lows in early 2009 fell more than 70%. Inflation surges.|
|2009||Unlisted Public Market (UPCoM) was set up. Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) handles bond trading.|
|2011||Vietnam devalues currency and inflation pressures persist.|
|2013||Fallout persists from distorted lending practice in previous years with SOEs, property market and banks still under pressure.|
|2014||Vietnam stock market stabilizes from 2010-2014. Proactive steps from government to tackle problems in the banking sector. Inflation slows dramatically. HOSE index and various sub-indices launched.|
|2015||Relaxation of foreign ownership caps on certain companies.|
|2018||Vietnam stock market hits a peak in early 2018 after almost doubling in the space of 2 years. Export and trade balance story shows great improvement. FDI picking up. Market suffers a correction later in the year.|
|2019||Launch of government bond futures contract.|
|2020||Strong bounce back in Vietnam stock market after covid crash, led by surge in domestic retail interest.|
|2021||Vietnam stock market boom since covid crash continues with continued low interest rates, despite Vietnam being hard hit from covid delta variant.|
VIETNAM STOCK MARKET CHART HISTORY
WHAT DID THE VIETNAM STOCK MARKET Return IN 2022?
Whilst the Vietnam stock market had a terrible 2022, falling almost 35% if measured by the benchmark in USD terms, it has resulted in seriously cheap valuations. On a trailing P/E ratio basis for example, the VN-Index finished the year trading at circa 10 times earnings. The forward P/E at the time of updating this blog post at the end of 2022 is circa 8 times 2023 estimated earnings.
VIETNAM HISTORICAL STOCK MARKET CHART 2023
Given the difficult year for Vietnam stocks in 2022, let’s now zoom out and see how that looks in the context of the history of the Vietnam stock market.
overview of the vietnam economy for 2023
If you want some further perspective on how factors I mentioned in the timeline (e.g. trade balances, inflation rates, debt levels, FDI, interest rates etc) operate in Vietnam and interact with its stock market, I covered this in the below blog post earlier in the year.
VIETNAM STOCK MARKET frontier or emerging?
So what major developments can we expect for the Vietnam stock market over the next few years that will be looked back on as significant steps? Currently in 2021 it is still considered a frontier stock market.
- Expect further relaxation on issues regarding foreign ownership limits (FOLs).
- Improvements in general stock exchange technology and infrastructure.
- Merger of two stock exchanges HOSE & HNX to become the Vietnam Stock Exchange (VNX).
- An eventual upgrade to emerging market stock market status.
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:
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