Head of Vietnam stock exchange sacked

Head of Vietnam stock exchange sacked

Anti-corruption drive intensifies with focus on financial markets

An electronic stock ticker displays share prices at the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange in Ho Chi Minh City. (Bloomberg File Photo)
An electronic stock ticker displays share prices at the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange in Ho Chi Minh City. (Bloomberg File Photo)

HANOI: Vietnam has fired the head of the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, the government said on Saturday, as the country intensifies a long-running crackdown on officials it accuses of graft.

Le Hai Tra, 47, was dismissed for “having committed serious violations and wrongdoings”, the government said in a statement, without elaborating. He was also expelled from the Communist Party of Vietnam.

Tra, who holds a double master’s degree in Finance and Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Vietnamese authorities in March called for the anti-corruption drive to be stepped up in the country, with a focus on financial markets.

A series of high-profile corporate arrests on accusations of market manipulation has triggered a $40-billion wipeout of Vietnamese stocks and rattled investor confidence in the fast-growing economy.

Tra will be replaced by Tran Anh Dao, the deputy chief of the exchange, the government said.

Authorities have launched a wide-ranging crackdown on stock violations amid alleged wrongdoings and poor oversight by officials that resulted in market manipulation and “illicit profits” between 2015 and 2020. The country is pushing for more transparency as it looks for a stock market status upgrade and greater foreign investment.

Tra’s dismissal follows that of State Securities Commission Chairman Tran Van Dung on Thursday for committing “serious wrongdoings”.

The finance ministry on May 19 also took disciplinary action in the form of warnings against Vu Bang, former securities commission chairman; Nguyen Thanh Long, chairman of the members’ council of the Vietnam Stock Exchange; and Nguyen Son, chairman of the Vietnam Securities Depository. 

Since late March, police have detained a number of company executives including the former chairman of Bamboo Airways and its parent FLC Group JSC Trinh Van Quyet, Tri Viet Securities former CEO Do Duc Nam and Louis Holdings former Chairman Do Thanh Nhan. The ministry has said a brokerage investigation would continue through this year.

The securities commission fined FLC Group 100 million dong ($4,300) for failure to disclose required information, the government said on Saturday. The regulator also put Hanoi-based Kenanga Vietnam Securities JS Corporation under special control between May 19 and Sept 18, it said without citing reasons.

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