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Economic data fails to lift shares

Update: April, 24/2012 - 10:05

HA NOI — Shares lost ground on the HCM City Stock Exchange despite earlier gains yesterday, while positive economic data helped lift stocks on the Ha Noi bourse.

Inflation in April inched up by only 0.05 per cent over March, the slowest rate since March of 2009, the General Statistics Office announced yesterday.

"However, last Friday's 4.1-per-cent increase in petrol prices and rising healthcare costs have given cause for serious concern about next month's inflation rate," wrote Kim Eng Securities Co analysts.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade also announced yesterday that the trade deficit this month was estimated at US$400 million, marking its lowest point as a percentage of export turnover in a decade.

Information also reached investors yesterday that the State Securities Commission was preparing measures to boost stock market liquidity beginning June, including an extension in afternoon trading hours to 3pm. A transaction-plus-three-days (T+3) settlement period was also being considered, it was revealed.

On the HCM City Stock Exchange, the VN-Index closed the day at 465.17 points, a 0.12 per cent decline from last Friday. The value of trades reached just VND1 trillion ($47.6 million) on a volume of 66.4 million shares.

The VN30 Index decreased slightly to 533.60 points, as such major shares tumbled as insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), Vietinbank (CTG), food processor Masan Group (MSN), Vietcombank (VCB), Sacombank (STB) and software giant FPT.

Meanwhile, some other blue chips were able to post gains, including real estate developers Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG), Vincom (VIC) and Becamex Infrastructure (IJC), and financial conglomerate Ocean Group (OGC), as well as food processor Hung Vuong (HVG) which hit its ceiling price.

On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index edged up by 0.08 per cent to 77.81 points. Losers edged gainers by a margin of 127-122. But the value of trades dropped 30.3 per cent from last Friday's level to just VND611.1 billion ($29 million) as volume reached only 55.9 million shares.

While the market was still sinking into some corrections, Kim Eng analyst Dang Thi Kim Thoa suggested investors hold onto shares of vegetable oil producer Trang An (TAC). In the last two months, TAC has increased 60 per cent higher than the VN-Index overall following acquisition rumours involving Masan Group..

"This factor plus the good valuation of the stock are the fundamentals for our recommendation," Thoa said. — VNS

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