Vietnam sacks head of the country's main stock exchange over "wrongdoing"


FILE PHOTO: An investor is seen reflected on stock market screens at a securities company in Hanoi, Vietnam, April 20, 2016. REUTERS/Kham

HANOI(Reuters) - Vietnam has fired general director of its main Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), the government said on Saturday, as the country intensifies a long-running crackdown on officials it accuses of graft.

Le Hai Tra, 47, was dismissed for "having committed serious violations and wrongdoings", the government said in a statement, without elaborating. He was also expelled from the Communist Party of Vietnam.

Tra, who holds a double master's degree in Finance and Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Vietnamese authorities in March called for the anti-corruption drive to be stepped up in the Southeast Asian country, with a focus on financial markets.

A series of high-profile corporate arrests on accusations of market manipulation triggered a $40 billion wipeout for Vietnamese stocks and rattled investor confidence in the fast-growing economy.

Tra will be replaced by Tran Anh Dao, the deputy chief of HoSE, the government said.

Vietnam on Friday fired the chairman of its State Securities Commission, Tran Van Dung, over the same accusations as Tra's.

(Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Editing by William Mallard)

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