Investors during a trading session at MB Securities Company (Photo: VNA)

 
Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam’s benchmark VN Index fell back on March 17 while exchange-traded funds accelerated trading on the last day of portfolio reviews for the first quarter of 2017.

The HCM Stock Exchange’s index dropped 0.6 percent to close at 710.54 points, reversing from the previous day’s gain of 0.3 percent.

The March 17 decline also sent the VN Index down for a second week with a total decrease of 0.2 percent from the previous trading week.

The focus of the stock market during the day was the portfolio review conducted by the two major foreign-run exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that are present in Vietnam’s securities market: FTSE Vietnam ETF and VNM Vietnam ETF.

On the last day of the portfolio review, the two ETFs helped boost market trading liquidity sharply with nearly 253.2 million shares being traded worth 5.2 trillion VND (231.8 million USD).

March 17’s trading figures were 41.4 percent and 32 percent higher in trading volume and trading value, respectively, compared to the day before.

The stock market fell as the ETFs purchased shares of the targeted companies through advance negotiations with shareholders given high supply from other investors, keeping the prices of those stocks at very low levels.

Foreign investors recorded a net sell value of 286.36 billion VND, in contrast to the 197.2 billion VND net buy value made on March 16.

Stocks that were added into the investment portfolios of those ETFs included property developer Novaland (NVL) and Faros Construction Corp (ROS).

The new strategy used by the ETFs sent the two stocks down to their daily trading limit of 6.9 percent and 7 per cent, respectively.

As Faros and Novaland are the two large-cap groups in the stock market, the decline of their share prices were the major factor pushing the VN Index down.

In addition, other blue chips also ended in the “red” area and provided little support for the southern market.

On the opposite side, the HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange gained 0.5 percent to end at 88.38 points. The northern market index has rallied for a fourth day with a total growth of 1.6 percent.

The four-day rally also helped the HNX Index record a four-week rising streak. It has increased by 2.9 percent since February 17.

More than 64.7 million shares were exchanged on the HNX market, worth 951 billion VND.-VNA