Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese shares rose on both local markets on February 22 as the brokerage sector jumped, led by Saigon Securities, after foreign investors showed interest in raising ownership in the company.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange made the biggest gain after the markets reopened after the Tet holiday, rising 1.2 percent to close at 560.71 points. The southern index has added 2.5 percent in the past three days and 2.9 percent since the end of Tet.

Meanwhile, the HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange bounced 0.6 percent after decline on February 19 to end at 78.26 points.

The brokerage sector index jumped 4.6 percent as Saigon Securities Incorporate (SSI) jumped 5.2 percent after Japan-based brokerage firm Daiwa Securities Group said it would raise its ownership in Saigon Securities Incorporate (SSI) by 5 percent to 15 percent, and as HCM City Securities Corporation (HCM), also surged 6.9 percent.

The insurance sector also helped lift the market, led by BIDV Insurance Corporation (BIC), which rose 6.7 percent after the company last week announced it allowed more foreign ownership in the capital.

Other insurance firms also had a good session, such as PVI Holdings (PVI), which was up 0.4 percent after the company reported a net profit of 600 billion VND (26.7 million USD) in 2015, twice the number in 2014, and Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), which added 3 percent.

In addition, the energy sector continued to boost the markets after global crude prices rose on expectations that a production freeze agreed between some of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia may help reduce the surplus.

US benchmark crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) jumped 3.6 percent on February 22 to trade at 30.70 USD a barrel and London-traded Brent crude leaped 4 percent to trade at 34.32 USD a barrel.

Among local energy stocks, PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (GAS) added 0.9 percent, PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Service Corporation (PVD) was up 2.4 percent, and PetroVietnam Technical Service Corporation (PVS) gained 1.3 percent.

Investors still sought to buy stocks that had hit their lowest values since being listed, such as plant grower Hoang Anh Gia Lai JSC (HAG) and its member company HAGL Agricultural JSC (HNG), which surged 6 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.

Other biggest stocks also contributed to the market gains on February 22. The Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID) and food and beverage producer Masan Group (MSN) jumped 4.2 percent each, while dairy firm Vinamilk (VNM) added 0.8 percent, and property developer Vingroup JSC (VIC) inched up 0.2 percent.

On February 22, Vietnam's central bank cut the reference mid-point rate for its exchange trading band by 6 VND to 21,894 VND for a US dollar.

Both local markets traded more than 208 million shares worth 3.3 trillion VND (147 million USD), an increase of nearly 40 percent from last week's daily trading value.-VNA