Increases in some major blue chips in the final minutes of Feb. 15's trades on the HCM Stock Exchange helped lift the VN-Index by 0.74 percent to a close of 517.87 points.

The value of trades fell by nearly 7 percent from the previous day's session, falling just shy of 826 billion VND (39.3 million USD) with nearly 34.3 million shares changing hands.

Losers outnumbered gainers by 144-67. However, of the 10 leading shares by capitalisation, Vietinbank (CTG), Phu My Fertilisers (DPM), property developers Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group (HAG) and Vincom Co (VIC), PetroVietnam Finance (PVF) and insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) all posted gains, with the latter two hitting their ceiling prices.

Although foreign investors were net sellers by a net of over 18 billion VND (857,200 USD), their strong buys in BVH, CTG and DPM helped boost prices of those shares.

Electricity shares, which were the major gainers on Feb. 14, retreated – with the exception of Thac Mo Hydro Power (TMP), which rose 0.9 percent.

The electricity rate adjustment scheme was submitted to the Government by the Ministry of Industry and Trade on Feb. 14, with rates expected to increase in March by 18 percent, or 160 VND or more per kWh.

Logistics company Thuan Thao Corp (GTT) was the most-active stock on the southern bourse, with 2.46 million traded, but GTT closed down 2.3 percent to just 8,400 VND per share.

On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index lost 0.68 percent to conclude the session at 106.65 points. The value of trades declined around 25 percent from the previous session to just 452.6 billion VND (21.6 million USD), on a volume of 26.2 million shares.

Decliners outnumbered advancers by 194-77.

Kim Long Securities (KLS) continued to be the most heavily-traded stock on the northern bourse with over 1.68 million shares traded, but it closed down 1.3 percent to 15,000 VND per share.

Foreign investors returned to being net sellers on the Hanoi bourse after several sessions as net buyers – but only barely, with a net value of just over 1.3 billion VND (63,800 USD). /.