On the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange on December 27, both the VN-Index and the VN30 Index tracking the city's top 30 shares decreased 0.03 per cent.

The VN-Index slipped to 506.41 points. The trading value and volume reached more than 1 trillion VND (47.1 million USD) and 73.7 million shares, respectively.

Among the 30 blue chips tracked by the VN30 Index, the losers were twice the number of gainers. The index fell to 562.28 points.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index declined 0.25 per cent to 67.93 points with a total turnover of just 374 billion VND (17.6 million USD).

The HNX30 Index, representing the performance of the 30 largest stocks, also slid more than 0.5 percent to 127.69 points.

Notably, the three stocks leading the market in terms of trading volume – PetroVietnam Construction (PVX) with 10.3 million shares, financial group FLC (FLC) with 7.3 million shares and property developer Hoang Quan (HQC) with 5.6 million shares – plunged to their floor prices.

Despite declines, experts remain optimistic about the next year's prospects. Senior economic expert Nguyen Tri Hieu said the market could rally 30 percent from current levels in 2014.

"The target of seven per cent inflation and 5.8 percent growth in GDP is achievable, which creates a favourable condition for securities," he added.

In contrast, the real estate market will take much longer to recover. "Therefore, shares will be a better choice for investors," he remarked.

Tran Van Dung, president of the Hanoi Stock Exchange, noted: "The market rally in the third quarter is a sign of economic recovery and indicates the stock market could improve significantly in 2014."

In addition, the State Securities Commission president, Vu Bang, stated that in order to generate momentum for economic growth, Vietnam should permit an increase in the foreign ownership of domestic firms and encourage the privatisation of state-owned enterprises.-VNA