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Head of Ho Chi Minh City Exchange Fired for Work Violations

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The Vietnam Stock Exchange fired the head of Ho Chi Minh City’s bourse for “very serious” shortcomings at work, the latest in a string of dismissals in an ongoing investigation into securities violations.

Le Hai Tra was terminated on May 20, the Ho Chi Minh City exchange said in a statement late Friday. Tran Anh Dao, the exchange’s deputy general director, will now be in charge of the bourse’s executive board, it said in a separate statement.

Authorities have launched a wide-ranging crackdown on stock violations amid alleged wrongdoings and poor oversight by officials that resulted in market manipulation and “illicit profits” between 2015 and 2020. Vietnam is pushing for more transparency as it looks for a stock market status upgrade and greater foreign investment.

Tra’s dismissal follows that of State Securities Commission Chairman Tran Van Dung on Thursday for committing “serious wrongdoings.” The Communist Party’s Central Inspection Committee on Wednesday dismissed Tra and discharged Dung from every position in the party.

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Tra, born in 1974, was appointed general director of the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange in February 2021, according to Lao Dong newspaper. He has a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University, VnEconomy news website said.

The finance ministry on May 19 also took disciplinary action in the form of warnings against Vu Bang, former securities commission chairman; Nguyen Thanh Long, chairman of the members’ council of the Vietnam Stock Exchange; and Nguyen Son, chairman of the Vietnam Securities Depository.

Since late March, police have detained a number of company executives including the former chairman of Bamboo Airways and its parent FLC Group JSC Trinh Van Quyet, Tri Viet Securities former Chief Executive Officer Do Duc Nam and Louis Holdings former Chairman Do Thanh Nhan. The ministry has said a brokerage investigation would continue through this year.

The securities commission fined FLC Group 100 million dong ($4,300) for failure to disclose required information, the government said on Saturday. The regulator also put Hanoi-based Kenanga Vietnam Securities JS Corporation under special control between May 19 and Sept. 18, it said without citing reasons.