Stocks rise over rate slash rumor

The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange remained bullish on Friday morning over expectation the central bank would cut key rates.

The VN-Index of 169 companies on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, rose for a third day, adding 1.7 points, 0.6 percent, to 307.26. The market gained 2.6 percent this week, the first weekly gain since November 7. Of the index members, 88 increased, 48 fell, and 33 were unchanged.

A broker of the HCMC-based FPT Securities Co. said investor confidence was boosted by a rumor about a slash in key rates from 10 percent to 7 percent. The State Bank of Vietnam cut the key rate for the fourth time in six weeks recently as the global financial crisis undermines growth.

“Hopes for a rate cut have been growing since the government announced the economic stimulus package, which includes rate adjustment and corporate tax reduction,” he said.

PetroVietnam Finance Joint-Stock Co. (PVF) the sixth-largest listed company, rallied for a third day, rising VND800, 4.5 percent, to close at a 1-month high of VND18,400. The financial arm of state-owned Vietnam Oil & Gas Group said on its website today that it will pay a dividend of VND1,000 (US$0.06) per share, starting from December 22.

PetroVietnam Transportation Joint-Stock Co. (PVT), a unit of state-owned Vietnam Oil & Gas Group, known as PV Trans, gained for a third day, surging VND700, or 4.5 percent, to a 17-day high of VND16,200. The Ho Chi Minh City-based crude-oil transportation company’s profit over 11 months totaled VND100 billion ($5.85 million). This 83 percent higher than projected, Dau Tu Chung Khoan magazine reported today.

Licogi 16 Joint-Stock Co. (LCG) surged to its highest level in almost four weeks, rising VND1,500, 4.7 percent, to VND33,400. Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint-Stock Bank, or Sacombank, has bought 189,000 shares to raise holdings to 777,960 shares, or 5.7 percent, from 4.3 percent, according to the exchange’s website.

The HaSTC-Index of the smaller exchange in Hanoi was a contrast to the HCMC market, edging down 0.46 percent to close at 107.72 points.

After the market closed the State Bank of Vietnam announced its decision to cut interest rates to 8.5 percent, a 1.5 percent cut, which comes into effect Monday.

Reported by Thieu Gia

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