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Saigon-Hanoi Securities (SHS) is marking its 10th anniversary on November 15 with a profit reported at VND120 billion ($5.45 million) in the third quarter, adding towards the VND300 billion ($13.63 million) in accumulated profit for the first three quarters of 2017, a 2.4-fold jump in its annual profit target set by the Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting earlier this year, according to the company’s CEO Vu Duc Tien.
Losses and difficulties encountered during the economic crisis in the 2010-2011 period put SHS in an ocean of losses amounting to tens of millions of dollars. After restructuring, redirecting, and reloading with new leadership, together with a new strategy to get back into the race, bringing back the traditional business lines of brokerage and investment advisory services, SHS is now fully back in the game.
For the first time in 2014, SHS was listed in the country’s top 10 securities firms with the largest brokerage market share and a profit surpassing VND100 billion ($4.54 million), ranking among the corporations with the highest revenue in the industry.
Subsequent business results in 2015, 2016, and the first nine months of 2017 have also been rather impressive, proving SHS’ strength and stable performance from one year to another.
In terms of brokerage services, SHS has taken advantage of its sound cash resources and ability to mobilise capital from financial institutions to meet the capital needs of its investors. Its products and services are diversified and its securities trading as well as investor information management systems are up-to-date.
Commenting on this particular business, Tien noted, “We take it seriously to pay attention to our investors’ net asset value and focus less on whether their transactions that are big or small.”
In fact, individual investors are in grave need of diversified financial products, investment information, and timely warnings. To serve them, SHS has invested in a brokerage team that can take good care of clients and built a reasonable set of fees.
“Good brokers are academically trained, with real life experience, and a passion for their profession. They have good communication skills so that investors will listen to them and no misunderstandings can occur. Our best brokers make an income you may not even believe: they can be much higher than CEOs’ incomes. We acknowledge and appreciate their work,” commented Tien on the amazing development of SHS that made it to the Top 10 Brokerage Houses on both bourses.
SHS has lately been named as one of the outstanding securities firms in advising the IPO and equitisation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) at Vietnam M&A Forum 2017. Numerous conglomerates, SOEs, and private companies with solid foundations, potential, and creditability, such as VNPT, Lilama, Vinafor, Vinacomex, and Saigon-Hanoi Bank, count among SHS’s clients.
SHS’ products are also diversified, meeting various demands from different fields. There are not simply advisory products on offer, but the team behind the scene is deeply involved in each and every deal in order to come up with comprehensive solutions ranging from project planning, implementation methods, and M&A to finding strategic partners and advising on equitisation and listing progresses.
For customers with capital needs, SHS can advise on the capital raising method and even provide financial resources or directly participate in the investment process.
With regard to its investment banking arm, SHS’s 2017 financial report shows that the firm has an attractive investment portfolio with many basic but prospective tickers like VGC, KSB, FPT, HBC or GMD. Its strategy that seizes opportunities to make short-term profit based on a portfolio containing tickers arriving from M&A and equitisation also contributes significantly to SHS’ performance.
SHS’ ticker, as a result, fetches approximately VND20,000 ($0.90) at present, a five-fold increase compared to the same period last year. SHS has been one of the most liquidated tickers on the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX).
SHS has also welcomed numerous international financial institutions, like PYN Elite Fund, Citi Group, Morgan Stanley, and Polunin Discovery. The foreign ownership at SHS now stands at roughly 20 per cent.
The right men at the right place
In getting to where SHS is today, the significant roles of its leaders need to be mentioned. Chairman Do Quang Hien’s expertise in picking the right people for the job and make the right plans for the business development has been essential to the rise of the company. Hien promoted Tien, who has been with SHS for years, from his original post of director of the Board of Directors' Office to CEO in 2014.
Some shareholders at the time doubted Hien’s decision, which came at a time of great difficulty and the stock market had just started recovering from the financial crisis. Hien nevertheless proved himself right as Tien was the man for the job, being professional, decisive, and flexible enough in handling and finding solutions for many business activities during 2014-2017, reacting to market volatility and macroeconomic policy changes.
Tien and his team have been effectively and smoothly running the business by seeking out and nurturing partners and customers and arranging ample financial sources, as well as developing products and portfolios that lifted the corporation out of the red and brought profit to shareholders.
The stock market typically needs quick and accurate reactions from CEOs, as wrong decisions can take the whole company down. Looking back at the past years, it is evident that CEO Tien has the ability to analyse, oversee, and come up with appropriate decisions in a dynamic environment.
SHS’ investments in Viglacera, FPT or Military Bank, and lately Idico, all profess to his ability to discern the right moment to buy and sell.
SHS has been able to gain tens of billions of VND in profit from these decisions. Yet the biggest success, in Tien’s opinion, is not profit or revenue, but the confidence in a bigger and brighter future. “This fuels our will, our energy, our decisions, and our spirit to overcome challenges on our way to success,” Tien noted.
SHS has re-established itself as a leading brokerage house, a professional advisor, and a sound financial institution in Vietnam. However, for CEO Tien, this is just the beginning and there is a long road ahead, fraught with challenges and competition in a fierce stock market.
“SHS has been continuously refreshing itself, with a focus on vertical development and products that bring added value to our customers. In doing so, each employee at SHS ought to renew themselves to further enhance their capacity in a bid to adjust and prepare for new phases of market development,” said Tien.