Shares remain closed to 10-year high

HANOI (Viet Nam News/ANN) - Shares closed almost flat on the two local exchanges yesterday as strong investor selling hit large-cap stocks after the market reached a 10-year high last week.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange closed at 722.38 points, nearly unchanged from a closing level of 722.31 points on Friday.

The HNX Index on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange inched up 0.1 per cent to end at 92.92 points. The northern market index fell 0.3 per cent on Friday.

Market trading liquidity remained positive compared to Friday, with more than 226 million shares traded, worth VND4.43 trillion (US$197.2 million).

Stocks that had pushed the market up in the previous weeks ended in negative territory, such as Vietcombank (VCB), Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID), Vietinbank (CTG), Bảo Việt Holdings (BVH) and Bao Minh Insurance Corp (BMI).

VCB fell 1.4 per cent, BID lost 2.3 per cent, CTG edged down 0.6 per cent, BVH dropped 0.8 per cent and BMI was down 0.4 per cent.

Energy companies saw their share values decrease on pressure from profit-taking and volatile crude prices.

PetroVietnam Gas (GAS), PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services (PVD) and PetroVietnam Technical Services (PVS) declined by between 0.5 per cent and 1.7 per cent to drive the energy sector down.

Meanwhile, foreign investors recorded a net buy value of VNĐ86.7 billion, a nearly 40 per cent decrease from Friday’s figure of VNĐ143.85 billion.

On the positive side, there were good performances by some stocks that supported the market such as Sacombank (STB), brewer Sabeco (SAB), Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), Sai Gon Securities Inc (SSI) and HCM City Securities Corp (HCM).

STB surged 7 per cent, hitting its daily trading limit, on speculations that property developer Nova Group has proposed the central bank to buy a 20 per cent stake of Sacombank in an attempt to take part in the bank’s restructuring process.

SAB inched up 0.2 per cent. Bloomberg on Friday reported the Philippines’ largest brewer San Miguel may bid for ownership in Sabeco.

“The first trading session of April has extended the market’s downward trend from last week after the VN Index failed to achieve the level of 725 points,” BIDV Securities Corp (BSC) said in its report.

The market would move sideways in the next sessions with support from food and beverage firms, steel makers and construction companies, BSC said. — VNS