Despite the current atmosphere in the markets, stock indexes have enjoyed healthy gains over the last week.

On the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, the VN-Index gained over 3 percent, compared to the previous January 24 close, to reach 560.19 points.

The average value and volume of trades totalled 1.8 trillion VND (84.9 million USD) and 98.7 million shares, respectively.

After some sluggish sessions, blue chip stocks, such as private equity group Masan (MSN), Vinamilk (VNM), insurer Bao Viet (BVH), PetroVietnam Gas (GAS) and Refrigeration Electric Engineering (REE), rebounded with a welcome boost to the market.

Meanwhile, property developer Tan Tao (ITA) hit a six-month high, as it was reselected for tracking by the VN30 Index, replacing food processor Bourbon Tay Ninh (SBT).

Also notable was the debut of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) on the HCM City Stock Exchange on January 24.

The bank's chairman, Tran Bac Ha, predicted the domestic stock market would continue to grow this year. "The growth may not be a breakthrough, but it will be stable," he said.

In addition, the decree allowing an increase in foreign ownership in Vietnamese banks produced a positive effect on the market. "I hope it will give a boost to trading on banking stocks such as ours," Ha said.

Ha expects the bank to attract investment from exchange-traded funds after its listing. This year, the bank is targeting a 16-percent credit growth, at least 6 trillion VND (283 million USD) gross profit, non-performing loans reduced to below 2.6 percent and 8 to 9 percent dividends.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index rose 1.2 percent over the previous week to 73.66 points. Trading value and volume averaged 508.7 billion VND (24 million USD) and nearly 47 million shares per session. Over the last week, foreign investors bought stock at a net value of 1.12 trillion VND (52.8 million USD).

The General Statistics Office announced on January 24 that the nation's consumer price index (CPI) rose just 0.69 percent in January, compared to December of last year. That is a slow increase, although the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday – which often sees a surge of consumption – is fast approaching.-VNA