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Top shares stave off market decline

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Insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) and food giant Masan Group (MSN) hit their ceiling prices on Jan. 11 on the HCM Stock Exchange, rescuing the benchmark VN-Index from a decline.

Despite decliners narrowly outnumbering advancers overall, the VN-Index gained 0.8 percent over the previous session's close, concluding Jan. 11's session at 347.43 points. The value of trades declined by 16 percent, however, to a total of 420 billion VND (20 million USD), while volume fell to 29 million shares.

Besides BVH and MSN, blue chips were mixed. Eximbank (EIB) and Sacombank (STB) posted gains of nearly 3 percent, while Phu My Fertilisers (DPM) rose by 1.7 percent. However, real estate developer Vincom (VIC) lost 3 percent while others closed unchanged.

"Trading value remains low and money has not really returned to the market," Vietcombank Securities Co analysts wrote in a report.

Recent rebounds are attributable to technical corrections which are understandable after the prolonged downturn, they said. Meanwhile, the international and domestic economic situation does not support the market and the lunar new year holiday is approaching, causing investors to prefer holding cash.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, after a brief rise on Jan. 10, the HNX-Index slumped to 55.88 points, a loss of nearly half-a-percent. Value decreased by 15 percent to 202.2 billion VND (9.6 million USD) with just 24 million shares traded.

Decliners and advancers were evenly split, at 108-108, although half the losers plunged to their floor prices. Kim Long Securities Co (KLS), the most-active share in Hanoi with over 2.3 million traded, closed 1.3 percent higher at 7,800 VND.

Foreign investors became net buyers on both exchanges, responsible for a combined net buy of over 37.6 billion VND (1.8 million USD)./.
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