|Investors watch stock movements at Kim Eng Vietnam Securities Co in HCM City. Viet Nam's stock markets ended 2014 on a high note. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HA NOI (VNS) —The Vietnamese stock market ended a rough year of 2014 with continued growth.
The VN-Index reached 545.63 points, rising 8.1 per cent, and the HNX-Index finished at 82.98 points, up 22.3 per cent over 2013.
The total market capitalisation hit VND1.12 quadrillion (US$52.58 billion), an increase of VND172 trillion ($8 billion) compared with 2013, and accounting for 31 per cent of Viet Nam's GDP.
In 2015, the indexes rose before the Lunar Tet holiday, with the markets closing at 587.24 points and 85.26 points respectively.
According to the State Securities Commission President Vu Bang, the local stock market this year will be supported by a brighter economic outlook. "The policies that the government issued last year, as well as those to be issued this year in terms of improving business environment, joining free-trade agreements and pushing the process of restructuring the banking and State sectors, will be major forces helping the economy recover," he said.
The domestic stock market would see improvement in both size and liquidity, he affirmed. "In addition, indirect foreign investment will also increase as regulations on foreign ownership are expected to become much more flexible."
The above-mentioned expectation is not without basis. The country's consumer price index last year rose only 1.84 per cent over 2013 — when the index jumped 6.04 per cent year-over-year — becoming the lowest increase in 10 years, while GDP growth reached a three-year high of 5.98 per cent.
The most serious impacts on the stock market last year came from disputes over the East Sea and the falling world oil prices. Tran Thanh Tan, president of the Fund Management Club, alleged that share prices were affected strongly, more by investor sentiment than the quality of the stocks. While domestic investors were under pressure to sell, foreign players took the opportunity to buy in. Vietnamese share investors are expected to be wiser this year, after those mistakes.
Chen Chia Ken, CEO of Phu Hung Securities Company, has told infonet.vn that the market will stabilise in 2015. Many other executives from securities firms are also positive that the VN-Index will reach at least 630 points this year. Particularly, MayBank Kim Eng's head of research and analysis Nguyen Thi Ngan Tuyen has predicted that indexes will surge in the first two quarters of the year.
The brokerages also expect that real estate stocks will rebound, thanks to the rally of the property market. In addition, investors can consider shares of companies that will benefit from free-trade agreements such as export and logistics. Apart from realty, banking stocks are also forecast to be active as the Circular 36 on enhancing credit institutions' capital adequacy ratio has taken effect.
Tong Van Thach, a 42-year-old investor in Ha Noi, said, "I have been familiar with the stock market for more than two years, but have not seen much profit. I hope the year of the goat [the lunar calendar] will change that." — VNS