Seoul-based brokerage house Hanwha Investment & Securities said on April 29 that it has bought a 90.05 percent stake in Hanoi-based online stock brokerage company HFT Securities for some 5 billion won ($4.3 million).
Hanwha Investment & Securities headquarters building in Yeouido, Seoul
Hanwha completed the transaction upon approval by the State Securities Commission of Vietnam on April 22, the company said.
The shares were sold by former shareholders Greenway Logistics, Green Way Development Investment and six individuals on April 24, according to disclosures to the Hanoi Stock Exchange where HFT shares are trading.
Hanwha’s brokerage arm said it seeks to strengthen its product pipeline based on HFT’s digital platform for financial services.
“Hanwha Investment & Securities has secured a growth engine by entering the Vietnamese market which has high growth potential,” Hanwha Investment & Securities CEO Kwon Hee-baek said in a statement.
This came as the ceiling for foreign ownership was removed in December last year.
Founded in 2003, HFT Securities in 2018 reported revenue of 13.6 billion dong ($585,786) and net profit of 5.1 billion dong in 2018, up 64 percent and 57 percent on-year, respectively.
Hanwha Investment & Securities is an indirect subsidiary of chemical-to-finance Hanwha conglomerate’s holding firm Hanwha Corp.
The news comes in line with the growing presence of Korean investors in Vietnam’s brokerage industry amid local financial authorities’ regulatory relief over foreign investment. NH Investment & Securities increased ownership of CBV Securities to 100 percent in February 2018 and changed the Vietnamese unit’s name to NH Securities Vietnam, while KB Securities in October 2017 acquired Maritime Securities, and Korea Investment & Securities in 2010 took over KIS Vietnam.
By Son Ji-hyoung (firstname.lastname@example.org)