How Vietnam is cultivating its bond market

The government is preparing sweeping changes to domestic bond market regulation as foreign investors dip into local currency corporate debt for the first time.

For much of the past year, it has been Vietnamese equities all the way for frontier market investors up and down.

Their attitude seems unlikely to change much over the near-term despite a roughly 20% pullback since the VN Index peaked in early April.

Yet as the benchmark index started correcting, local observes noted how a handful of foreign life insurance companies, including Eastspring and Manulife, began parking funds in the domestic corporate bond market for the first time.

Their ability and willingness to do so shows how far the market has come over the past few years. It also reflects the government’s...

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