Investors watch stock movement at Saigon Securities Inc in Hanoi. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) -Shares declined for a fourth session on November 11 amid investors' worries about the high level of trading on margin in some securities companies.

The benchmark VN-Index on the HCM Stock Exchange decreased 0.3 percent to close at 603.5 points. The Index lost a cumulative 2 percent in the past four sessions.

On the smaller market in Hanoi, the HNX-Index edged down 0.4 percent to end at 80.5 points, extending its four-day loss to 1.6 percent.

According to some reports on local media late last week, loans to investors who trade on margin in some big brokerage companies like Saigon Securities Inc, HCM Securities Corp, VNDirect Securities Co and Saigon-Hanoi Securities Co have almost reached the highest level this year at over 2 trillion VND (89.3 million USD) each.

Margin loans on smaller financial companies including Kim Eng Securities, Vietcombank Securities and Viet Capital Securities were less than 1 trillion VND (44.6 million USD).

"The level of trading on margin is a measure of the market risk," said Hoang Thanh Tung, an analyst at Royal Securities Co.

"Though information of margin loans in some securities is not official, many investors suppose it's true and were worried about the risk of a market fall due to selling pressure from borrowed shares," Tung said.

The overall market condition was negative on November 11 with over 33 percent of 680 trading stocks slumping while 24.5 percent advanced.

Losers included some of the index's biggest stocks like insurance giant Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), real estate developer VinGroup (VIC), Vietcombank (VCB), Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID), PV Gas (GAS), steelmaker Hoa Phat Group (HPG), software producer FPT Corp (FPT). Except Vietcombank and BIDV which declined over 1.2 percent, the others dropped less than 1 percent.

On the other end of spectrum, Vinamilk (VNM), the largest domestic dairy producer as well as the biggest stock by market capitalistion, continued to rise.

The price of Vinamilk's shares gained 1.6 percent to close at 127,000 VND (5.67 USD) each. The stock has climbed 7.6 percent in the last seven sessions following the news that the company has suggested the Government allow a maximum foreign ownership of 100 percent of the company.

However, Tung predicted that Vinamilk would soon face correction pressure as its price to earnings ratio (P/E) was currently high, about 20, compared with the average ratio of 13 in HCM City's market.

He said that Vinamilk's price had continued to rise on investors' expectation that it would reach 160,000 VND (7.14 USD) a share, equivalent to the price that Singapore's food and beverage company Fraser and Neave (F&N) offered to buy the 45 percent stake that the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) is holding in Vinamilk.

Last week, local media reported F&N has proposed to buy SCIC's stakes in Vinamilk in a deal worth 4 billion USD, but the Singaporean company denied this information.

Liquidity decreased over November 10 with 132.6 million shares worth 2.3 trillion VND (102.7 million USD) being traded on the two exchanges, down 19 percent in volume and 11 percent in value compared with the previous session.-VNA