The number of new retail accounts opened at securities brokerages plunged to nearly 40,000 in March, the lowest level in the past two years, according to the Vietnam Securities Depository.
March is also the sixth month in a row in which the number of new stock accounts was less than 100,000, while the figure reached a historic peak of 476,332 last May.
The decline began in July 2022, when the VN-Index fell from the peak of 1,500 points to below 1,000 points.
At present, Vietnam has over 7.03 million retail stock accounts, equivalent to 7% of its population, with some investors owning multiple accounts.
Earlier, the country targeted to have 5% of its population with stock accounts by 2025.
With few new investors, and the cautiousness of old ones, the local bourse has seen liquidity drop sharply.
The average value of an order-matching session on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange was VND7.9 trillion ($334.7 million) in March, down 7% against February, and the lowest value over the past one year.
Some experts believe the smaller number of new accounts reflects a temporary difficulty of the stock market. In the long term, the number of accounts may increase sharply because of improved market access conditions, bigger incomes of people, and their need to allocate investment capital to different channels.
Michael Kokalari, chief economist of investment management firm VinaCapital, once predicted that the number of stock investors would surge to 15 million in the next decade.
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