HA NOI (VNS) — Rebounding bank stocks during the final sessions of the week helped lift the stock market, though liquidity declined substantially on the two national stock exchanges.
On the HCM Stock Exchange, the benchmark VN-Index rose above 580 points, gaining a cumulative 1.31 per cent during the week, and concluded Friday's session at 582.38 points.
Meanwhile, blue chips were mixed and restrained the gain of the VN30 to just 0.07 per cent to finish the week at 616.16 points. The VN30 tracks the top 30 shares by market value and liquidity on the southern bourse.
Speculation surrounding impacts of Circular 36, which is slated to take effect after more than a week, influenced bank stocks. Major banks, such as Vietcombank (VCB), Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID), Vietinbank (CTG), Eximbank (EIB), Military Bank (MBB) and Sacombank (STB), all soared in Thursday's and Friday's sessions.
Positive business results for this group in 2014 also helped push them up.
CTG on Friday revealed its pre-tax profits reached VND7.3 trillion (over US$341 million) last year, up 2 per cent over its yearly target. Its total assets increased 14.6 per cent over that of 2013, reaching VND660 trillion ($30.84 billion).
Previously, BID also reported a 20-per-cent year-on-year rise in pre-tax profits in 2014, amounting to VND6.06 trillion ($285 million). VCB also earned a pre-tax profit of VND5.68 trillion ($265.4 million), surpassing its target for the year by 7 per cent.
Apart from banks, the market condition was usually negative and liquidity fell strongly on mounting investor pessimism.
The trading volume on the HCM City's market dropped 20 per cent against the previous week, averaging nearly 104 million shares, valued at VND1.774 trillion ($83 million) per session.
On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index rose 1.77 per cent over the week, ending Friday at 86.86 points, though the market volume also decreased more than 16 per cent compared with the previous session, reaching 45.2 million shares worth VND568 billion ($26.5 million) per day.
According to many brokerage companies, numerous macro economic factors are favorable, which will likely support the scenario of an uptrend next week, prior to the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.
These factors include deep cuts in petrol prices, continuous reductions in interest rates and positive indications coming from economic activity this year.
"We believe this positive impact will continue to spread stronger in the coming sessions. In addition, releases of 2014 earning reports by listed companies, which will be coming out next week, will help maintain the momentum," analysts at Sai Gon-Ha Noi Securities Co wrote in a report.
However, they predicted a slight technical correction following a strong rally early this week, but said this would be a good opportunity for investors to increase their holdings of good stocks at reasonable prices.
Foreign investors returned to become net sellers on both markets last week, responsible for a combined net sell value of VND139 billion ($6.5 million). Their sales focused on the Ha Noi market, where they sold shares valued at up to VND115.2 billion ($5.4 million), of which the sales of Tien Phong Plastics Co's shares were the major movers, amounting to VND133.5 billion ($6.2 million). — VNS