HA NOI (VNS) — Vietnamese shares retreated at the end of the week's first trading session as investors took profits from banks and insurance companies, amid concerns that a weaker dong will hurt their investments in local stocks.
The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange lost 1.2 per cent to close at 559.37 points and the HNX Index on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange fell 0.4 per cent to end at 78.73 points.
Investors in Viet Nam's stock markets were also somewhat disappointed with the result of the G20 meeting held in Shanghai last weekend, during which finance ministers and central bankers were unable to come up with a plan to boost global economies, especially China, Sai Gon-Ha Noi Securities Corporation (SHS) wrote in its daily report.
In addition, a possible rate hike, which may be realised by the US central bank in March, threatens foreign investors whose assets in Viet Nam may depreciate when the Vietnamese dong becomes weaker than the US dollar.
Yesterday, Viet Nam's central bank raised the reference mid-point rate for its exchange trading band by 15 dong to VND21,914 for a dollar, closely approaching the highest mid-point rate of VND21,919 reached in early January.
The stock market losses were led by the three biggest banks ― the Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BID), Vietinbank (CTG) and Vietcombank (VCB) ― which dropped in value by 3.9 per cent, 2.8 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively.
BID gained 12 per cent over the last week, CTG rose 7.6 per cent in the previous four days, and VCB increased by 4.7 per cent last week.
Insurance companies also had a bad trading session, as six of nine listed insurance firms declined in value. The biggest declines were seen by the BIDV Insurance Corporation (BIC) and Bao Minh Insurance Corporation (BMI), which lost 2.3 per cent and 3.2 per cent, respectively.
BID rose in value by 39 per cent in the previous seven days of trading, after the company officially allowed more foreign ownership in its capital.
On the other hand, local energy stocks such as PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS), PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Service Corporation (PVD) and PetroVietnam Coating Corporation (PVB) rose in value as oil trading was strong during yesterday's session.
US benchmark crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) inched up 0.1 per cent to trade at US$32.82 a barrel and the London-traded Brent crude added 0.5 per cent to trade at $35.28 a barrel.
Investors yesterday traded nearly 176 million shares worth VND2.56 trillion ($113.8 million), a decrease of 24 per cent from last week's daily trading value. — VNS