HA NOI — Shares made modest advances for five straight sessions last week on the HCM City Stock Exchange, closing on Friday at 433.45 points, a gain of 1.85 per cent over the course of the week.
Cautious investor psychology nevertheless overshadowed the market, squeezing both volume and value, with an average of only 37 million shares trade per day, worth an average of VND724.7 billion (US$34.5 million).
Blue chips such as dairy giant Vinamilk (VNM), Military Bank (MBB), Vietcombank (VCB), Eximbank (EIB), food processor Masan Group (MSN) and PV Gas (GAS) all posted gains, driving the Index's rising momentum and helping lift the VN30 Index by 1.97 per cent to a Friday close of 515.55 points.
After five consecutive gaining sessions, profit-taking pressures on these shares have became quite high, said FPT Securities Co analyst Le Thi Bich Hang.
"When the leading stocks no longer support the market, likely the VN-Index will decline again," Hang wrote in a report. "Low liquidity on the market shows that investors remain cautious in trading."
On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, without the support of rallying blue chips, the HNX-Index closed last week's trading essentially unchanged from the previous session at 70.35 points. Volume on the northern bourse dropped 24.3 per cent to an average of about 32.3 million shares, while the value of trades averaged VND299.5 billion ($14.3 million) per session.
Habubank (HBB), one of the more speculative stocks on the northern bourse, delisted its shares on Friday and began share swaps at the ratio of 0.75:1 as part of its merger with Sai Gon-Ha Noi Bank (SHB). SHB closed Friday at VND7,900 per share, while HBB was valued at VND5,100. If SHB can maintain that price until September 15, the time when all newly-merged shares begin to be traded, current HBB shareholders will enjoy a 15-per-cent gain on each share they own.
Hang said that trading was risky for casual investors without any further supporting economic data to boost the market.
"Long-term investors can still buy stocks with good fundamentals," she said.
Foreign investors finished last week as net buyers on the HCM City bourse, picking up shares worth a combined VND125 billion ($6 million). Over 40 per cent of these, however, were shares of PV Gas (GAS). Increased buys in this share could have stemmed from information that GAS would be added to the MSCI Frontier Markets Index at the end of this month.
Meanwhile, foreign invesotors were net buyers on the Ha Noi bourse, unloading shares worth a net of nearly VND21 billion ($1 million). — VNS