This study has analysed the role of the domestic economic environment and regional markets (Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong and China) in explaining the dynamics of Vietnamese stock market. In so doing, we employed a time-varying structural vector autoregression framework which accounts for time variations (in coefficients as well as in the variance–covariance matrix of innovations) on the data from July 2000 to December 2016. Our key findings suggested that the easing of monetary and credit conditions, stable and stronger currency and economic growth have played a significant and positive role in the development of the stock market in Vietnam. Inflation shocks did have a negative impact which implied that in policy setting the price stability is very important for the financial stability in Vietnam. The Vietnamese stock market is also heavily influenced by the regional markets, as there is strong evidence of co-movement. However, it was also witnessed that despite having a similar direction of impact and co-movement, different markets have an influence of different degrees and intensity on the Vietnamese stock market. Lastly, we also witnessed that as compared to the Global Financial Crisis, the recent periods showed comparatively lesser responsiveness. This could be associated with the intensive reaction during the period of financial turmoil as well as with an increase in the stability of the Vietnamese stock market as it matures.