UBS has scored a substantial win in Vietnam, announcing that it has been awarded a securities trading code registration certificate by VietnamÆs State Securities Commission. The news comes as the bank has also revealed plans to roll out economics coverage of Vietnam in the near term.

The trading code is required for all foreign investors looking to buy listed equities in Vietnam. Through these trading codes, regulators track foreign ownership in listed firms to ensure that foreign equity limits, which are 49% for most listed companies and 30% for banks, are adhered to. Presently, VietnamÆs stock exchange in Ho Chi Minh City lists the shares of 49 companies with an aggregate market capitalisation of approximately $3 billion.

ôWe are delighted to have secured a licence to buy and sell securities in Vietnam and the granting of a trading code allows us to provide our clients with access to this dynamic market,ö says Chi-Won Yoon, head of Asian equities at UBS Investment Bank. ôVietnam's economy has been growing at about 8% a year, which is a pace second only to China's. The country is rich in resources and, unlike many others in the region, is a net oil exporter and we are confident that it will increasingly become the focus of international investors.ö

In addition to receiving the trading code, UBS Investment Bank Research will add Vietnam to its coverage shortly. This move will be led by Jonathan Anderson, chief economist for Asia-Pacific at UBS and will be supported by Duncan Woolridge, its regional economist.

"This underlines our commitment to providing our clients with best-in-class access to AsiaÆs emerging markets. It makes perfect sense for us to broaden further our already large footprint in the region, as we have, for example, in ChinaÆs A-share market and with the recent economics coverage of Pakistan,ö says Nicholas Pink, head of Asian Research at UBS.

Elsewhere in Vietnam, UBS has entered into a brokerage agreement with Bao Viet Joint Stock Securities Company, a Ho Chi Minh City-based brokerage. The Vietnamese firm will execute UBSÆs orders in the market and assist with introducing its clients to corporates in the country.