Banks lead Vietnam stock markets hinh anh 1Staff work at VNDirect Securities Co in Hanoi. - Photo
Hanoi (VNA) - Shares surged on January 17 on the two national stock exchanges, led by bank stocks, on expectations that the Government would allow banks to raise the limit of foreign ownership this year.

On the HCM Stock Exchange, the VN Index recouped the January 16 loss with a rise of 1 percent to close at 684.7 points. The southern market index fell 1 percent on January 16.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX Index gained 1.1 percent to end at 83.9 points. The northern market index lost 0.3 percent in the previous session.

Bank stocks were the main driving force of the indices’ rise, following a statement by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Bloomberg Television on January 13, saying the Government would consider allowing banks to increase their foreign investment in capital this year in an attempt to restructure the banking system and improve access to Vietnam’s market for foreign investors.

The banking industry index on rose 4.8 percent, the strongest among 20 sectors on the stock market, after the PM’s statement was published.

Seven of the nine listed banks gained value, of which the largest lender by assets, Vietinbank (CTG), hit the daily limit rise of 7 percent on the HCM City’s bourse, touching 17,650 VND (0.78 USD) a share.

Other large-cap banks like Vietcombank (VCB), BIDV (BID), Military Bank (MBB), Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) and Sacombank (STB) climbed between 3 and 6 percent.

The overall market condition was negative, however, as the number of losing stocks outnumbered the gaining ones by 219-185 and another 299 remained unchanged.

Fertiliser stocks were on the defensive side after an impressive rising streak.

Petrovietnam Fertilizer & Chemicals (DPM), PetroVietnam Ca Mau (DCM) and Binh Dien Fertilizer (BFC) in HCM City fell 2-6 percent each, while Lam Thao Fertilizers and Chemicals (LAS) in Hanoi dropped by the maximum rate of nearly 10 percent.

“The market is largely segmented with a large number of declining stocks, which means opportunity to expand profits of investors is narrowing,” said Tran Duc Anh, a stock analyst at Bao Viet Securities Co.

Though admitting potential risk in the short term, Duc Anh offered a positive market outlook in the medium term given optimistic earnings prospects of many enterprises in leading industries, such as banking, real estate, steel and construction.

Liquidity improved with a total of 131 million shares worth a combined 2.7 trillion VND (119.5 million USD) traded in the two markets, up 4.8 percent in volume and 12.5 percent in value against the January 16 levels.

Foreign investors turned to net selling on January 17, with a value of 28 billion VND. They were net buyers for 73.6 billion VND on the previous day.-VNA