Prices of bank shares rose on January 7 after the release of Decree 01/2014/ND-CP on lifting foreign ownership in Vietnamese credit institutions.

According to the new regulation, a foreign strategic partner can hold 20 percent in domestic banks, up from 15 percent as set out in Decree 69/2007/ND-CP.

As institutional investors, foreign organisations are allowed to own up to 15 percent, while a foreign individual can own a maximum of 5 percent. The total foreign ownership will be retained at 30 percent.

After the news, prices of seven listed bank stocks increased between 0.6-2.4 per cent. Only Nam Viet Bank (NVB) finished the session unchanged.

On the HCM City Stock Exchange, the VN-Index added 0.2 per cent to 510.12 points.

Trading value improved to 1.18 trillion VND (55.6 million USD) with nearly 74.4 million shares transacted.

The 30 leading shares tracked by the VN30 Index were mixed: 12 stocks tumbled, 14 others added value, and the remaining closed unchanged. The index rose 0.33 percent to 568.15 points.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index ended 0.9 percent higher to reach 69.47 points. Meanwhile, blue chips performed well, boosting the HNX30 Index to 131.49 points and gaining 1.35 percent.

A volume of around 43.3 million shares, valued at 405.2 billion VND (19.1 million USD), was exchanged.

Selling pressure gradually increased towards the end of the January 7 session, pulling down the momentum seen earlier in the morning.

Many speculative stocks lost ground, such as Saigon Securities Inc (SSI), construction and real estate companies PetroVietnam Construction (PVX), Tan Tao (ITA), Hoang Quan (HQC), Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG) and Becamex Infrastructure (IJC).

PVX was the most heavily trade stock, with more than 5 million shares changing hands.

Foreign investors were net buyers on both bourses, purchasing a combined margin of 37.1 billion VND (1.75 million USD).-VNA