traders call for stock market ‘time-out’
|Investors are sitting on
their hands as the VN-Index falls. — VNS Photo Truong Vi
HA NOI — With the
VN-Index now dipping below 500, and seemingly no end in sight for its long
downward plunge, some investors are calling for a temporary suspension in
trading or some other form of official intervention to stop the haemorrhaging.
"I think the
regulators should pause trading on the stock exchange for several days because
what is happening is making the general situation worse," said veteran Ha
Noi investor Hoang Tuan.
Ngoc Cuong, an investor
with Habubank Securities Co, said, "I’d rather see that than watch the
VN-Index keep falling day by day."
A delay in trading could
help investors cool off and give them a chance to reconsider their investment
portfolios, Tuan added.
In fact, investors had a
brief time-out during the public holidays in late April and early May, when the
market went dark for several days.
But, when traders returned
from the holiday, the VN-Index continued falling.
"The delay should be
a half a month, not only a couple of days," countered Tuan. "The time
must be calculated to give enough time for a calming down period."
Other investors took a
different tack, suggesting that measures such as a trading suspension or
tightening the daily trading band simply delayed the inevitable.
"Sooner or later, the
VN-Index will be back to 300 points," said one investor at the offices of
Habubank Securities Co. "Tightening the trading band only stretches out the
time over which the market falls."
However loosening the
trading band on the HCM City Stock Exchange back to the previous plus-or-minus 5
per cent per day spooks many individual investors who have seen the greatest
suffering during the free-fall of the VN-Index.
Nguyen Tien Dung, an
independent analyst, said, "Domestic investors now have nothing to do with
the stock market. Instead, they keep mentally putting themselves in the
positions of regulators."
The VN-Index was falling
heavily partly due to the investors themselves, he said. They have acted in
panic, causing an even greater imbalance between the share volumes and capital
"And when the market
falls too much, they wait for regulators to do something, rather than taking
greater care of what they are doing," Dung said.
"Instead of calling
for more help from regulators, they should calm themselves down.
"Then, they might
escape from the mud."
continued its downward trend, slumping another 1.74 per cent or 8.42 per cent to
close at 475.5.
Active buying by foreign
investors gave a small lift to total trading volume, which reached 1.9 million
shares. Value of the day’s trades totalled VND82.62 billion (US$5.16 million).
(PMS) was the day’s only gainer, with nearly all other codes hitting their
Among some leading blue
chips, Hau Giang Pharmaceuticals (DHG) fell 1.81 per cent to VND168,000, and
Kinh Do slid 1.85 per cent to end the day at VND108,000.
Kim Anh, a broker with the
Golden Lotus Securities Co, said domestic investors have become too panicked to
realise what they are doing and were now feeding the steady fall of the
Only foreign investors
have retained any enthusiasm to buy shares. Yesterday, they were active buyers
of a net of 676,410 shares, representing a value of VND35.33 billion (US$2.21
Nguyen Huy Duong, an
analyst of Hoa Binh Securities, said that foreigners have gone through hard
period on other stock markets and understood the patterns on the Vietnamese
to realise that Viet Nam is a really attractive destination for their investment
despite the economic difficulties," said Duong.
On the northern market,
the HASTC-Index closed off 2.04 per cent to 144.85. Gainers included penny
stocks like Luong Tai Construction (LUT) or Yen Bai Agri-forest&Food (CAP).
Duong noted that, on the
Ha Noi market, the trading band was a percentage point wider than in HCM City,
allowing day traders to earn a little more than they could on the southern
However, trading volume in
Ha Noi continued modest, at only 272,300 shares, with a value of VND10.35
billion ($646,875), concentrated mostly in penny stocks. — VNS