Hang Seng Index outperforms in 2017; Vietnam beats emerging market peers


The Vietnam Stock Index increased 46.9 percent year-to-date as investors bought into the country’s rapidly-growing economy.

The country is technically still classified as a frontier market by MSCI, but has been working on improving accessibility to foreign investors as it tries to get an upgrade to emerging market status.

Besides encouraging local companies to publish updates in English, the government has also moved to privatize state-owned firms. A majority stake in Sabeco, Vietnam’s largest brewer, auctioned off earlier this month was won by a unit of Thai Beverage, Reuters reported.

“The sale of some state-owned enterprises should help lower Vietnam’s rising national debt [and] also attract significant foreign direct investment,” Chetan Sehgal, director of global emerging markets and small cap strategies at Templeton Emerging Markets Group, said in an email.

“At this stage, Vietnam serves as the beacon for all the frontier markets. However, with the passage of time, there is every prospect that in the long term, Vietnam could qualify for emerging market status,” he added.

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