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Shares down following bank official arrest

Update: August, 21/2012 - 16:22

HA NOI - Shares fell sharply during today's session as the market reacted negatively to news of the arrest of Nguyen Duc Kien, vice president and co-founder of Asian Commercial Bank (ACB), for unlawful financial activities. Kien is also a large shareholder in a number of other listed banks including Sacombank (STB) and Eximbank (EIB).

Nguyen Van Binh, governor of the State Bank of Viet Nam, revealed earlier that Kien had set up three companies that had employed illegal financial activities.

Binh soothed investors by saying that Kien did not hold a management position at ACB, and customers could be assured that their money was safe.

Leaders from other banks – including Sacombank, Eximbank – were also quick to stress that Kien's individual activities had not affected them.

However, their reassurances failed to prevent shares from plunging. ACB – listed on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange – and five other banks on the HCM City Stock Exchange all dropped to their floor prices.

Twenty-seven out of the 30 leading shares tracked by the VN30 Index in HCM City also bottomed out. The VN30 lost nearly 5 per cent to close at 496.39 points, and the benchmark VN-Index tumbled 4.7 per cent to finish at 416.84 points.

Profit-taking pushed trading value to over VND1.2 trillion (US$57 million) on a volume of 70 million shares.

On the northern bourse, the HNX-Index retreated 5.24 per cent to 66.95 points.

Around 51 million shares changed hands with overall market value of VND469.5 billion ($22.3 million).

Nearly 170 codes out of 250 decliners plunged to their floor prices, including blue chips, pushing the HNX30 down more than 6 per cent to close at 127 points.

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