A Happy Shareholders Meeting Season
By Nguyen Quan
What happened to Vietnam’s stock market between April 25 and 27
Despite business results falling short of expectations during 2011 and the first quarter of this year, recent shareholders meetings finished smoothly without the sort of full-scale inquiries and infighting between organizers and the audience often seen last year.
In this season of shareholders meetings, many listed companies made more deliberate attempts to organize their apparently most important events. Files and documents were sent beforehand to participants. At the meetings, speakers were to the point, elaborating on management and business results even before shareholders raised questions. The meticulous preparations satisfied to a certain extent the majority of participants.
A distinct difference between this year’s meetings and those last year is notable. Shareholders used to query and debate with board members on weaknesses exposed by the company in question so that measures to achieve targets could be introduced and enacted. In recent meetings, however, shareholders mostly urged boards of directors to devise plans to avert further stock price plunges and to attract more investors.
In some cases, board members acted strangely, too. They took the side of shareholders who were demanding measures to fight stock crash instead of discussing feasible plans to improve business performances.
By the end of April, two thirds of listed companies had held shareholders meetings. But it seems that the participants came to the meetings only to know what was happening to the companies they have a stake in rather than expressing opinions on how future business schemes should be charted out.
Since early this year, both the VN-Index and the HNX-Index have gained over 40% and the prices of many stocks have increased twice or more. The rallies were among the main reasons leading to unusual peaceful shareholders meetings in this season.
Board members all breathed a sigh of relief when meetings ended in peace. Some of them still remembered what happened last year during the same events. They were then grilled and badly bruised by shareholders disgruntled at catastrophic 2010 business results. Performances in 2011 were by no means better. But shareholders were so “considerate” and behaved “impeccably.”
At the close of the month’s last trading session on April 27, the VN-Index rose 3.56 points, or 0.76% of its value, to stand at 473.77 points, with more 86.17 stocks traded, worth more than VND1.3 trillion. On the Hanoi bourse, the HNX-Index gained 1.1 points, or 1.42% of its value, to stand at 79.86 points, with more than 67.56 million stocks traded, worth over VND705 billion.