Capital gains tax scares investors away

The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange lost ground Monday as investors were still spooked by the capital gains tax, under the Personal Income Tax Law, which took effect January 1.

Vietnam’s VN Index, a measure of 175 companies and closed-end funds, slipped 1.43, 0.5 percent, to close at 311.91 points. Among index members, 73 rose, 55 fell and 42 remained unchanged.

Turnover remained fairly low, with 7.3 million shares worth VND191 billion ($11 million) being exchanged.

“While earning results of listed firms is expected to be negative, the capital gains tax lowers investor confidence even further,” said a stock broker in HCM City.

The Personal Income Tax Law requires stock investors to pay either 0.1 percent of every sale or 20 percent on annual profits.

Ha Tien Transport Joint-Stock Co. (HTV) rose VND200, 2.2 percent, to VND9,200. The company plans to allegedly buy back 200,000 shares starting January 9, Thoi Bao Kinh Te Vietnam reports.

Phuong Nam Cultural Joint-Stock Co. (PNC) climbed VND100, 1.1 percent, to VND9,200. Cao Danh Ha, a member of the supervisory board, bought 10,000 shares to increase his stake in the company to 27,000 shares, according to a statement filed on the exchange’s website January 2.

Thu Duc Housing Development Corp. (TDH) gained VND1,500, almost 5 percent, the maximum allowed by the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, to VND31,600. The rise came on the back of a Tuoi Tre report today that said the property market in Vietnam will be boosted by borrowing costs that are expected to fall further after interest rates dropped to about 12 percent down from 21 percent.

Banks reduced interest rates after the central bank cut its benchmark rate late last year, according to Tuoi Tre. The State Bank of Vietnam  December 22 cut its benchmark base rate by 1.5 percentage points to 8.5 percent, the biggest reduction last year, ‘to avert economic slowdown,’ according to its website.

Cadovimex Seafood Import-Export Joint-Stock Co. (CAD) fell to VND20,000 on its first day of trading on the exchange. The company started trading 8 million shares with a reference price of VND25,000, the exchange said in a statement on its website. The listing increases the number of companies on the exchange to 171.

Hanoi’s HaSTC-Index changed fractionally, edging down 0.66 percent to finish at 103.78.

Reported by Thieu Gia

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