Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh on February 18 beat the gong to open the first trading session at the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) after the nine-day Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.

Addressing the ceremony, Ninh expressed his hope that the stock market will see higher growth this year, contributing to stabilising the macro economy, curbing inflation and ensuring social security.

During the first trading session in the lunar new year, both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City bourses saw slight increases. Closing the morning session, the northern bourse’s HNX-Index stood at 66.57 points, up 0.36 point or 0.54 percent, while the VN-Index of the HCM Stock Exchange increased 2.67 points to 496.7 points.

Earlier this year, the State Securities Commission has put forth solutions to remove difficulties for businesses and the stock market, and attract foreign investment.

Last year, despite the global economic downturn, the local stock market was among those with high growth rates in the world. By the end of 2012, the VN-Index stood at 413.73 points, an increase of 17.7 percent over the level one year ago, and the HNX-Index ended at 57.09 points.

The market’s capitalisation reached 765 trillion VND (36.4 billion USD), 226 trillion VND higher than that of 2011 and equivalent to 26 percent of the country’s GDP.

Foreign indirect investment totalled 300 million USD in 2012, compared to 240 million the previous year. In addition, foreign investors also poured more than 1.5 billion USD in M&A transactions.-VNA