Bank shares continued to rise on January 7 after the State Bank increased the US dollar exchange rate by 1 percent from 21,246 VND per dollar to 21,458 VND, boosting both bourses.

On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, shares of banks such as Vietinbank (CTG), Eximbank (EIB), Military Bank (MBB), Sacombank (STB) and the Bank for Investment Development of Vietnam (BIDV) rose between 0.6 and 3 percent. Vietcombank (VCB), which lost 1.2 percent, was the exception.

Saigon-Hanoi Bank (SHB) and Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) also climbed more than 1 percent on the Hanoi Stock Exchange.

The forex adjustment did not surprise the market, as many experts and organisations had predicted the central bank would depreciate the Vietnamese dong in the first quarter of this year. Many banks on January 6 also unexpectedly raised their forex rate to the ceiling.

Last month, the central bank confirmed it would not let the value of the dong depreciate by more than 2 percent this year.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the benchmark VN-Index gained 0.43 percent to close the session at 552.05 points. The VN30, which tracks the top 30 shares by market value and liquidity, inched up 0.21 percent to end at 607.65 points.

The market condition was neutral as advancers outnumbered decliners by just 127-112 while the other 67 stocks closed unchanged.

Market value dropped 10 percent over January 6, however, reaching almost 1.8 trillion VND (84.1 million USD) on trades of nearly 112 million shares.

FLC Group (FLC) reclaimed the position of the most active stock by the end of the session with 12.6 million shares traded, rising 0.9 percent to settle at 11,200 VND a share. Ocean Group (OGC) was pushed to second place on trades of 10.5 million shares but the share price slumped 4.05 percent to finish at 7,100 VND.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index also climbed 0.45 percent to close at 84.18 points as gainers outnumbered losers by 109-86 and 165 closed flat.

Liquidity slightly improved over the previous session with trading value rising 10 percent to reach 686 billion VND (32.1 million USD). Market volume was little changed, totaling 53.3 million shares.

FLC's investment arm, KLF Joint Venture Global Investment Co (KLF), remained the most active code with 8.5 million shares traded, slipping 0.87 percent to end at 11,400 VND a share.

Foreign investors unexpectedly concluded the session as net sellers in Ho Chi Minh City, unloading shares worth 95 billion VND (4.4 million USD). They were still net buyers on Hanoi's exchange but picked up only 8.8 billion VND (411,000 USD) worth of shares.-VNA