JB Securities strives to contribute to development of Vietnam's capital markets

September 22, 2023 | 08:00
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While Vietnam's capital markets are still in early stages relative to its global counterparts, there's significant potential for the growth of the markets. Kim Doo Yoon, CEO of JB Securities Vietnam, spoke about its newly launched securities brokerage business, and the company's commitment to the development of Vietnam's financial markets.
JB Securities strives to contribute to development of Vietnam's capital markets
Kim Dooyoon, CEO of JB Securities Vietnam

What is your assessment of the financial landscape of the country, and how have you seized opportunities?

In the last three years living and working in Vietnam, I have found that for Vietnamese business, the main source of financing is mostly from banks, and the capital markets are in the early stage compared to peer countries in Asia.

As Vietnam's economy grows fast compared to other countries, I expect that its capital markets will also grow to meet the funding needs from the industries, based on my experience and study in Korea and the US.

With this expectation, I have decided to focus on the debt capital market first since I joined JB Securities Vietnam (JBSV) three years ago. In particular, in the last two years, JBSV has advised corporate bond issuances and made commitments to invest more than 1 trillion VND.

Thanks to our strong financial analytical skills and advanced risk management scheme on the bonds, JBSV has been successful in the debt capital markets without having any single difficulty even during the corporate bond market turbulence over the last year.

At the same time, with the belief in the strong growth of the Vietnam equity market, I have also prepared for the securities brokerage business. The number of accounts for securities trading has more than doubled in the last three years from about 3 million to 7 million, which also shows the huge potential to grow considering Vietnam’s population and peer countries.

To take a different approach for this business, JBSV has spent more than a year developing strategies with significant amounts of resources and investment to introduce a trustworthy securities investment platform.

JBSV’s Finavi online brokerage platform has the potential to deliver meaningful impact in the market. Can you provide an overview of the unique features of the Finavi online brokerage platform, which set it apart from other such platforms?

Finavi has two versions, a mobile trading system (MTS) which is mainly for F0 and less-experienced investors, and a web trading system (WTS) for intermediate and professional investors. We have different customized versions of WTS for intermediate and professional investors, respectively.

We try to make the MTS as simple as possible for securities investment with visualised design, so that new investors feel more comfortable accessing the securities markets. The MTS provides a real-time ranking service based on market data and shows what stocks other similar investors are investing in.

With the WTS, in order for the experienced investors to customize trading windows with ease, we incorporate advanced functions and features such as a multi-display interface and speedy order. We were able to openly implement our ideas in our system because we have developed the systems by ourselves instead of using ready-made securities trading solutions.

In particular, we have incorporated functions, features and design of securities trading platforms popular in Korea into our Finavi platform. In the process of development of the system, Korean IT professionals have worked closely with our Vietnamese IT experts to blend local platform styles and values with Korean ideas and experiences.

Overall, our goal is to provide a state-of-the-art user interface – a concept that is already well-received in South Korea. We anticipate that Vietnamese investors will also find it appealing and worthy to be chosen.

JB Securities strives to contribute to development of Vietnam's capital markets
JBSV's Finavi securities trading platform aims to provide technologically advanced securities trading services with high cost efficiency

JBSV’s online brokerage platform, Finavi, aims to provide cost-effective and entirely tech-based securities trading services. Could you elaborate on how Finavi benefits investors?

Some securities companies utilize securities brokers to attract investors to stock markets while in some other countries such as Korea and the US, individual investors do not rely on brokers much.

As we aim for tech-based online securities trading services without brokers for general investors, we have less burden on the overhead costs incurred by brokers. We can return this benefit of cost-savings to the clients by charging a minimum brokerage fee. In order for the investors to enjoy the benefits as much as they can, we are even offering a lifetime zero brokerage fee for those who open an account at Finavi by the end of this year. By sharing the benefits with our clients, we can help our clients get access to the stock markets with lower cost. Along with that, Finavi customers can benefit from our competitive margin lending services in the market.

I am confident that once new investors experience our Finavi platform, they will become long-term clients to us. We have prepared a series of initiatives to attract investors including opening account promotion, stock index forecasting events, off-line educational events, and special margin loan products.

Apart from Finavi’s investment platform, I also would like to introduce our service for corporate clients, including corporate financial consulting. JBSV plans to leverage its expertise in investment banking business to better serve corporate clients. In addition to brokerage and margin lending services to them, we provide comprehensive corporate finance consulting services which include corporate bonds issuance, initial public offering (IPO) and merger and acquisition (M&A). Our corporate clients and their management can experience global standard investment banking services with our strong commitment and integrity.

They can also consider corporate bonds investment, which JBSV itself also invests in for better investment returns. As a comprehensive securities business services provider, we connect capital, companies and investors with resourceful ideas with integrity.

Can you expand on the role of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles in your day-to-day operations and how they align with your business models and goals?

ESG standards are currently a global goal which helps our societies make sustainable growth. For the last 3 years leading the company, I have emphasised ESG criteria together with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (‘SDG’) set by the United Nations in doing business. I prioritised instilling the ESG and SDG concept within our vision, mission, and core values. This direction is in line with the Vietnam government's long-term strategy. Whenever JBSV makes investments in corporate bonds, this principle shapes each of our decisions.

For our company, it is paramount to deliver services with the utmost transparency, integrity and commitment for sustainable growth. Currently, we are in the initial stages of developing ESG-focused products. Collaborative efforts with other financial companies are in the pipeline, emphasising our intention to lean heavily into ESG and broader sustainable development goals. This is not just about short-term gains, but also about ensuring sustainable growth for our company and society.

There is often a debate surrounding the implications of ESG adherence, with some arguing it is for improved image and reputation. What's your take?

There is a misconception that companies embrace ESG merely for optics. I have observed that JBSV’s mother group, JB Financial Group, has successfully integrated ESG management and subsequently earned positive evaluations. And there are plenty of ESG focused funds worldwide. Thus, while ESG might be viewed by some as a mere image-enhancer, when genuinely integrated, it can be a linchpin for sustained growth and value.

We don't just see sustainability as a goal. It is pivotal to our growth, and we have taken proactive steps to align with these ideals. Together with Vietnam's aims for net-zero by 2050, JBSV will continue to place a strong emphasis on sustainability with ESG and SDG leadership. With this principle in mind, I will guide our teams to work with integrity and dedication to our clientele, ensuring that every decision underscores our commitment to a sustainable future.

With your vast international experience, what emerging trends do you foresee in Vietnam's financial sector?

In the near future, the Vietnam debt and equity markets will grow fast, which in return benefits investors too. When I draw parallels with more matured financial markets, I see immense potential. Though I reserve comments on government policy, I anticipate these markets will offer significant financing alternatives to local companies and industries.

Another avenue that I can foresee is in exchange-traded fund (ETF) products, popular in countries like the US and South Korea. ETFs offer investors easier options compared to individual stocks. For instance, an ETF focusing on renewable energy can capitalize on sector-specific trends.

What are the long-term goals and vision for JBSV, and how do you envision its role in shaping Vietnam's financial landscape?

Our ultimate ambition is to grow alongside the Vietnamese capital markets. If we can contribute to cultivating a prudent investment culture, that would be a monumental achievement to me. In Korea, I had worked for a financial regulatory organisation for about two decades and realised how important it is to build the right investment culture.

Our aim is twofold, we want to arm individual investors with investment knowledge, ensuring they approach the market with confidence, and provide corporate clients with optimal financial solutions, spurring their sustainable growth. It is about collective growth - and we intend to lead in making that change.

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By Le Luu

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