VN-Index sees bear take it all

The index of 181 companies and four mutual funds traded on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange opened the week tumbling 3.75 percent to a two-month low, with anxiety to dump stocks setting the prices low.

Vietnam’s benchmark VN-Index lost 20.79 points to close at 534.09 Monday. Trading volume was almost halved from the average last week to the smallest volume for over a month. Only 47.7 million shares worth VND2.1 trillion (US$117.5 million) changed hands.

According to some analysts, the index will drop further to around 520-530 and stay there for a while before making a powerful rally.

On the index, only six companies advanced, 176 dropped and three were unchanged.

Declines on the southern market were led by the city-based Transforwarding Warehousing Joint Stock Corp. or TRANSIMEX (TMS), Sieu Thanh Joint Stock Corp. that produces office and household equipment also in the city, and the Hanoi-based Tan Vien Petroleum Joint Stock Co. that also does business in real estate, resorts and sports service.

Vietnam Electricity Construction Joint Stock Co. (VNE), a power plant builder, dropped 4.5 percent to VND16,900. Vice General Director Nguyen Trong Binh plans to cut his holding in the company to 0.48 percent from 0.79 percent, according to a statement filed on the exchange website. Binh will start selling 100,000 shares starting from this week, and the sale will complete by the end of March.

Phuoc Hoa Rubber Co. (PHR), Vietnam’s biggest listed rubber company that operates a rubber tree plantation, slid 4.8 percent to VND39,800. Rubber declined for the second time in three days, as a drop in oil cut the cost of making rival synthetic products used in tires and a stronger Japanese currency weakened the appeal of yen-denominated contracts, Bloomberg said.

Bank and finance stocks enjoyed robust trading.

Vietnam Export and Import Bank or Eximbank (EIB), which lost 2.22 percent to VND26,400, had nearly 3.6 million shares changing hands on the city bourse, becoming the most active stock Monday by volume. The next most active issues were Saigon Commercial Bank or Sacombank (STB) with 2.94 million shares traded and Saigon Securities Inc. (SSI), Vietnam’s largest brokerage, with 2.2 million shares.

The market up north went red as well when the HNX-Index slid 3.88 percent or 7.33 points to 181.81. Around 21 million shares were traded at VND851 billion, down 39 percent in volume and 44 percent in value from last week average.

UPCoM-Index also fell 0.28 points, 0.39 percent, to 71.65. A total of VND621.4 million was spent trading 39,408 shares.

On the global market, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose for a second day, led by insurance companies after they reported increased earnings.

By Phong Linh

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