Investors at the Saigon Securities Incorporation (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares declined slightly on November 4 as automobile distributors sold off after seeing big gains so far this year.

The VN-Index on the HCM Stock Exchange retreated 0.2 percent to close at 610.6 points after nearing 618 points earlier in the morning session. The Index advanced 1.5 percent on November 3.

On the Hanoi exchange, the HNX-Index also lost 0.2 percent to end the session at 81.7 points after rising 1 percent in the previous session.

The market condition was negative with 26 percent of 680 trading stocks increasing while 34 percent declined.

Auto dealers were the biggest losers.

TMT Automobile Co (TMT), Truong Long Auto & Technology Co (HTL) and Hang Xanh Motors Service Co (HAX) all dropped by the daily limit of 7 percent for a third straight day while Hoang Huy Investment Services Co (HHS) and Saigon General Service Corp (SVC) fell 4 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

"Shares of auto distributors climbed substantially last week," said Nguyen Thanh Tung, an analyst at Royal Securities Company. "That prompted investors to sell to lock in profits."

Tung said that though earnings of these companies have been good and there is still room for these shares to advance higher, they may face correction pressure in the short term before going up again.

Truong Long Auto soared 26 percent last week while Hang Xanh Motors, TMT Automobile and Saigon General Service all increased around 20 percent.

From the beginning of the year through October 29, the price of Truong Long Auto soared 746 percent. Other auto companies have jumped between 230 percent and 430 percent since the beginning of this year.

The nine-month earnings reports of auto distributors were positive. Through September, Truong Long Auto posted a net profit of 102 billion VND (4.6 million USD), up 450 percent year-on-year. TMT Automobile, Saigon General Services and Hoang Huy Investment Services also reported strong rises in nine-month profits between 200 percent and 620 percent over the same period of last year.

Other large-cap stocks also slumped on November 4, including Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam, Vietinbank, real estate giant VinGroup, software producer FPT Corp.

Liquidity increased with 174.5 million shares worth 3.4 trillion VND (151.8 million USD) were traded in the two markets, up 8 percent in volume and 10 percent in value over the levels on November 3.-VNA