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(Corrects number of shares covered by the index in paragraph 1 and 2 as per announcement from the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange)
HANOI, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Vietnam will launch a major stock index on Oct. 24 that will consist of the shares of 451 companies listed on its two bourses, the country's stock exchanges announced on Friday.
The new VNX Allshare index will comprise 237 companies' shares from the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange and 214 from the Hanoi Stock Exchange, or 92 percent of total market value of all Vietnamese shares, they said in a statement.
The companies must meet certain standards including liquidity and free-float rate.
The aim is to increase the transparency, trust and attractiveness of Vietnamese shares for investors, especially foreigners, the exchanges said.
Vietnam's current benchmark VN Index was Southeast Asia's best performer in 2015 and has gained 18.43 percent so far this year, the second strongest in Asia, Reuters data showed, as investors bet on the country's steady economic growth and liberalisation of foreign ownership in listed companies.
Foreign investors have accounted for around 15 percent of total trading value on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange so far this year, up slightly from 2015, official data showed. (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Susan Thomas)