FOREIGN investors should not expect any form of stock market in Vietnam before at least 1996, the governor of the country's State Bank has warned. Cao Sy Kiem told Business Post that despite growing outside pressures, the market was still 'a long, long way off'. The end of this year had been the first target date for the market, but Mr Kiem stressed preparations had to be made properly. 'It's very easy to understand that without enough confidence it would crash,' he said. 'We are preparing actively for its creation and are doing it very carefully, step by step. 'There is a lot of pressure for a stock market but we have agreed that there must be a stock market, and we are doing what we can to promote its establishment.' Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet had two years ago called for a stock market by the end of this year. He recently told the nation progress in creating capital markets had been far too slow and urged for greater efforts next year. When asked if the State Bank was taking a more conservative line than the prime minister, Mr Kiem said: 'We have the same view . . . we always agree on everything in this field. 'If we don't open out markets and mobilise capital, we will lag far behind. But if we omit any stages, then we will make other development difficult.' The market is planned for Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, but decisions on exactly how large the market would be and the involvement of foreign companies have not yet been taken. Advice is being taken from Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand, while personnel are being training and brokerages developed. Priority is also being given to the creation of a bank-run securities commission. Despite widespread foreign support for the market to mobilise much-needed development capital, Hanoi-based bankers and auditors privately fear that the slow rate of equitisation and lax accounting standards mean Vietnam should not be rushed. They welcomed news of the date being pushed further back to 1996. 'It's got to have the credibility to lure the institutional investor, and that means at least two years of solid audited accounts for all listed companies,' one analyst said. 'At the moment, I fear that is beyond both most state-owned and private operations here, so there should be no hurry . . . Vietnam's got to get its stock market right from the start.' Vietnam has just passed a law giving all state-owned companies the right to issue stocks and bonds in a move seen as a crucial fore-runner to the eventual market.