Vietnam’s Corporate Bond Market, 1990-2010 : Some Reflections

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Corporate bond appeared in 1992-1994 in Vietnamese capital markets. However, it is still not popular to both business sectors and academic circles. This paper explores different dimensions of Vietnamese corporate bond market using a unique and perhaps, most complete data set. State not only intervenes in the bond markets with its powerful budget and policies but also competes directly with enterprises. The dominance of state-owned enterprises and large corporations also prevents small and medium enterprises from this debt financing vehicle. Whenever a convertible term is available, bondholders are more willing to accept lower fixed income payoff. But they would not likely stick to it. On the one hand, prospective bondholders could value the holdings of equity when realized favourably ex ante. On the other hand, the applicable coupon rate for such bonds could turn out negative inflation-adjusted payoff when tight monetary policy is exercised and the corresponding equity holding turns out valueless, ex post. Given the weak primary market and virtually non-existent secondary market, the corporate bond market in Vietnam reflects our perception of the relationship-based and rent-seeking behaviour in the financial markets. For the corporate bonds to really work, they critically need a higher level of liquidity to become truly tradeable financial assets. Updated entries in 2010 affirm the findings and conclusions.
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Archival date: 2022-05-11
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