Forbes to Honor the 50 Best Listed Vietnamese Companies

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HCMC – In a sign of Vietnam’s maturing market, Forbes Vietnam is preparing to honor Vietnam’s 50 best listed companies in a ceremony to be held on October 17 in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). The award seeks to recognize companies listed on the Vietnam Stock exchanges that have outstanding business and financial performance. Some of the recognizable names on the top 50 list include Vingroup, Vinasun, Vinamilk, and Vietcombank.

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Forbes Vietnam is the Vietnamese version of the well-known U.S. business magazine Forbes.

According to Forbes, in order to be considered, the winning companies “must have growth and profitability within three consecutive years. They are evaluated on their compounded growth in revenue, profit, return on capital and earnings per share. These are companies that are creating jobs for workers, bringing benefits for shareholders and investors, and contributing to the development of the economy.”

In a report entitled the “50 Best Vietnamese Listed Companies”, Forbes states that the 50 companies to be awarded have a market capitalization of over VND741 trillion (US$34.88 billion) – representing 65 percent of the total market cap of the Vietnamese stock market.

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While the stock market as a whole only saw an average revenue growth rate of two percent, the top 50 companies have managed to achieve average revenue growth of seven percent. However, Forbes points out that this rate is still behind global growth rates.

Vietnam’s stock market has been the best performer in Southeast Asia for 2014. The country’s main market, the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange’s VN Index, is up around 24 percent for this year.  The government is pushing forward with its equitization plans for the many state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the country, however it remains to be seen just how competitive these companies will be once they have gone public.

Additionally, in a bid to attract more foreign investment, Vietnam is preparing to relax foreign equity limits and is lobbying to have its market status at New York based index provider MSCI Inc. upgraded from frontier-market to emerging-market status.

An upgrade in market classification can yield significant benefits for a country, as evidenced by Qatar and the UAE. In the 12 months following MCSI’s June 2013 announcement that these nations would be upgraded to emerging-market status, their benchmark stock indexes rose some 38 percent.

Plans are also underway to merge the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange and the Hanoi Stock Exchange into the Vietnam Stock Exchange by 2015, and to sell shares of over 400 state owned firms.

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