Vietnam will launch a new benchmark stock index, VNX Allshare, on Oct. 24 that will include all the shares currently listed on the Hochiminh Stock Exchange and Hanoi Stock Exchange, the government said.

The move is aimed at having a single index that reflects the price movements of all the stocks in the market, the government said in a statement late Friday. It is expected to attract more foreign investment and pave the way for the upgrading of Vietnam’s stock market to “emerging” status from “frontier.”

There are currently 208 companies listed on the Hochiminh Stock Exchange, whose benchmark VN-Index has risen by more than 18% this year, one of the best performers in the region. The Hanoi Stock Exchange has 180 listed companies.

The existence of two stock indexes built on different criteria has hindered investors, especially foreign ones, from having a good overview of Vietnam’s market, the government said.

It said the new VNX Allshare index will also facilitate the development of derivatives and exchange-traded funds.

By Vu Trong Khanh - The Wall Street Journal - September 30, 2016