Stocks maintained rises in the afternoon of January 22, sustained by bank shares, as prices fell to an attractive level after a four-day slump.

On the Hochiminh Stock Exchange, the VN-Index closed yesterday's session at 574.54 points as advancers outnumbered decliners by 120-94. The other 94 stocks closed flat.

The market was upbeat due to the reduction in petrol prices announced late on January 21. The performance of businesses is expected to improve as input costs fall substantially. Bank shares led the upturn on January 22 as Vietinbank (CTG) and Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID) hit their ceiling prices, capped at 7 percent a day.

Other blue chips like Eximbank (EIB), Sacombank (STB), Military Bank (MBB) and Vietcombank (VCB) also gained 1.6-3.6 percent. These shares were also among the most active stocks with 2-6 million shares exchanged on each code.

The VN30, which tracks the top 30 shares by market value and liquidity, edged up 0.62 percent to end at 610.31 points with 17 shares rising and only seven declining.

Liquidity continued to fall, however, as market value tumbled 10 percent from January 21 to 1.425 trillion VND (66.6 million USD) while trading volume reached nearly 84 million shares.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index rose 1.22 percent to finish the session at 85.66 points as gainers doubled losers.

Trading volume climbed 10 percent over the previous session, totaling nearly 43 million shares worth 488 billion VND (22.8 million USD), slightly higher than the January 21 level.

FLC Group investment arm KLF Joint Venture Global Investment Co (KLF) was again the most active stock here with almost 10 million shares exchanged. The share price closed flat at 11,200 VND a share.

Foreign investors continued to unload local shares, responsible for selling 88 billion VND (4.1 million USD) worth of shares on the two exchanges.-VNA