Software giant FPT has nearly reached its limit of foreign ownership following heavy buys of its shares by foreign investors over the past month. 

Foreign ownership in the firm has exceeded 48 percent, leaving only another 2 percent, equivalent to 1.7 million shares, available to foreign buyers.

FPT was the most heavily-purchased share by foreign investors on the HCM Stock Exchange throughout July, with over 4 million shares acquired at a value of about 212 billion VND (10.3 million USD). A total of 7 million FPT shares were acquired by this sector in the first six months of the year.

The investment fund Red River Holdings was one of eager foreign buyers, picking up nearly 600,000 FPT shares and lifting its stake in the company to 5.76 percent.

The strong buys also helped lift the price of FPT shares by 20 percent last month to around 50,000 VND (2.40 USD) a share – at a time when the VN-Index lost 6 percent of its value overall, falling from 425 points to around 400 points.

Foreign investors have continued to demonstrate their interest in FPT in August, buying a net of 130 billion VND (6.3 million USD) worth of FPT shares last week.

Market watchers viewed these figures as very impressive in the context of low market volumes on the nation's two stock exchanges.

FPT was one of the 10 leading shares by capitalisation on the HCM Stock Exchange, with a market capitalisation of around 10 trillion VND (509.7 million USD) as of July, and FPT was one of the key shares affecting movements of the VN-Index, noted Kim Eng Securities Co deputy director Duong Cam Da.

Many analysts believed that positive earnings results and other favourable information related to the company were the principal factors in the upswing of foreign investor interest in FPT. While other companies have been struggling, FPT reported a pre-tax profit of 1.2 trillion VND (58.3 million USD) for the first half of the year. Its earnings-per-share (EPS) surpassed 3,600 VND during the period./.