Shares struggled to end in positive territory in HCM City on Nov. 3 but tumbled in Hanoi following the announcement by the Vietnam Securities Depository late on Nov. 2 that it had suspended SME Securities Co's custody operations for a month.

The depository cancelled all of SME Securities Co's buy orders for on Nov. 2 , worth 1.5 billion VND (71,400 USD), on the grounds that the brokerage had failed to pay for previous orders.

"This suggests that small brokerage need to be merged," said HCM Securities Co analyst Fiachra Marc Cana. "They can impose great effects on the market despite their small market share, since the market is currently very vulnerable."

Trades on the HCM Stock Exchange were mixed, but the benchmark VN-Index finally rebounded by 0.16 percent, ending the session at 408.44 points. Decliners pipped advancers by 115-98.

The value of trades held stead at about 460.5 billion VND (21.9 million USD) even as the volume of trades fell by 12.4 percent to 27.7 million shares.

Of the 10 leading shares by capitalisation, food processor Masan Group (MSN), real estate developer Vincom (VIC) and Vinamilk (VNM) rallied modestly while others retreated or closed unchanged.

Shares of steelmakers slumped notably, following the announcement by the Vietnam Steel Association that steel inventories as of October 31 had reached a record high of 900,000 tonnes.

Newly-listed Military Bank (MBB) was again the most-active code in HCM City with around 1.2 million shares exchanged, but MBB lost 0.8 percent of its value to close at 13,100 VND per share.

Construction firm Housing and Urban Development Co No 1 (HU1) also made its debut on Nov. 3 in HCM City, witnessing a healthy increase as it rose to VND10,900 from an opening price of VND9,600 per share.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index fell by over 1 percent to 66.43 points despite gains in the opening minutes of trading. Scant volume of 27.4 million shares pulled the value of trades down by 24.8 percent from the previous session to just 288 billion VND (13.7 million USD).

Foreign investors were buyers on the southern bourse by a net of 26.4 billion VND (1.2 million USD) – 83 percent of which was poured into MBB. Meanwhile, they were sellers in Hanoi but by a net of merely 1.4 billion VND (66,600 USD)./.