Stocks retreat over sharp blue chip selling

The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange closed on a lower note Wednesday as investors cashed in on yesterday’s rally, sharply selling blue chip stocks.

VN-Index, the gauge of 170 stocks on Vietnam’s main exchange in HCMC, inched down 1.7 points, 0.32 percent, to close at 536.11. Among its members, 83 stocks declined and 65 advanced.

Credit Suisse Group AG on September 2 said investors should sell Vietnamese stocks amid “excessive” valuations after the benchmark index jumped 71 percent this year and slowing bank credit will end the market’s outperformance.

“Investors’ sentiment was shaken a little by Credit Suisse’s warning. They sold stocks in the last three days, but yesterday started to buy more. We have seen more inflow of money into blue-chip stocks,” said an analyst of a HCMC-based brokerage, “Unlike some who are say that September is usually the month when the index slides, I think we will have a rally this month.”

Hoang Long Group (HLG), which engages in property development, taxi transportation, shipping, and natural resource exploration, became the 169th member of the bourse today.

The group, based in the Mekong Delta province of Long An, started trading almost 28.8 million shares at an initial price of VND30,000. The shares gained by the maximum limit for the first trading day of 20 percent, to VND36,000, valuing the company at more than VND1 trillion.

OPC Pharmaceutical Joint-Stock Co. (OPC), a herbal medicines manufacturer and trader, dropped 1.9 percent, to VND52,500. Nguyen Thi Minh Tam, OPC Pharmaceutical’s chief accountant, cut her stake in the company to 140,282 shares, 1.7 percent, from 2.5 percent by selling 60,000 shares, the company said in a statement on the exchange’s website.

Tran Nhut Thi Anh Hoang, wife of Nguyen Dang Thoai, a deputy CEO and board member of the company, plans to sell her entire stake of 26,100 shares by September 30, according to another company statement to the bourse.

Hoa Phat Group Joint-Stock Co. (HPG VN), Vietnam’s biggest-listed steel producer, advanced 4.3 percent, to VND73,000, the highest since August 26, 2008. Hoa Phat got credit assurance of VND330 billion (US$18.5 million) from the Hanoi-based Bank for Investment & Development of Vietnam to develop its real estate projects and raise working capital for its energy affiliate, Hoa Phat said in a statement on its website today.

The HNX-Index of the smaller exchange in Hanoi also lost marginally 0.81 points, 0.48 percent, to finish at 167.02.

At the unlisted stock exchange UPCoM, the UPCoM-Index dropped 1.66 points, 2.57 percent, to 63.04.

By Vinh Nghi

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