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Stock market sees massive layoffs   2011-08-29 - SGT

Large numbers of stock brokers working at securities firms these days have no choice but to quit their jobs as a result of the current stagnation of the stock market which has made it impossible for employers to make salary payments.

Business scale narrowed

A securities firm, located on Nguyen Cong Tru Street, in District 1, used to rent three adjoining houses for a stock trading floor, where busy trading sessions between investors was a daily spectacle. Now it rents two houses and there are few investors present.

The head of a brokerage department said the firm had to pay total monthly expenses of VND1 billion whilst earning only VND200 million from its brokerage service, causing the operation to be narrowed down. The firm closed a branch in District 5 recently.

A Hanoi-based securities enterprise has failed to upgrade its transaction office in HCMC into a branch due to the poor performance of the stock market. It also plans to close this transaction office given lack of customers.

There were a large number of firms seeing branches shut down and branch managers dismissed as seen at the Hochiminh Stock Exchange’s website (www.hsx.vn), including Saigon-Hanoi Securities Co. in HCMC or Wall Street Securities Co. in Hanoi.

Several securities firms had to narrow business scales after four years running perfunctorily, watching and waiting for better times in the stock market.

Strong layoffs

The said Hanoi-based securities firm has requested its 20-plus employees at its HCMC transaction office to quit their jobs and only offered half-month salary compensation for the unilateral termination of working contracts; otherwise, they would have to move to the company’s Hanoi head office. In the end, the employees have had to quit without having two months’ salary as demanded.

Currently, the firm located on Nguyen Cong Tru Street now only has 20 employees while it used to have 100 in its heyday.

The former head of this firm’s brokerage department, now working in a foreign-owned business, said there were almost no stock brokers left in small enterprises. This was because when the demand was low, these types of firms dismissed staff directly or indirectly by transferring them to new departments on low wages.

The weak faces elimination

The director of a securities firm said the stock market was seeing drastic structural changes with only 30 out of 100 securities firms retaining operations and making some meager profits. These operational entities are anticipating better days ahead.

Those securities firms laying off staff now stand a chance of recruiting qualified and experienced employees, according to another securities expert.

The ongoing layoffs are providing securities firms with an opportunity to renew their work force, said Le Dat Chi, dean of the finance-stock market department of HCMC University of Economics.

Chi said people without qualifications could no longer apply for the position of stock broker as firms care about manpower quality. There would also not be room for outsiders attracted by the stock market’s period of prosperity.

“There comes a time for securities firms to have qualified stock brokers on moderate salaries and for investors to receive proper consulting,” he added. Stock brokers having financial knowledge could work at other firms if they left securities.

There were fewer graduates wanting to work on securities these days as they preferred well-paid and stable jobs at banks, audit companies or in financial and investment departments at listed firms, said a lecturer of HCMC Banking University.



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