Investors continued to unload shares yesterday for fear of a steeper market downturn, causing shares to continue declining on both of the nation's stock exchanges.

On the HCMC Stock Exchange, the VN-Index again lost value in the final minutes of the session, erasing earlier gains and finishing at 382.90 points, a decrease of 0.11 percent from the previous day's close. Losers outnumbered gainers by 137-79.

The value of the day's trades increased 12.5 percent, however, totalling 492.4 billion VND (23.4 million USD) on a volume of nearly 34.8 million shares.

Prices of dairy giant Vinamilk (VNM) slumped 32 percent on Nov. 29 as the ex-date passed for participation in the company's issue of bonus shares, which would result in a stock split at a rate of 2:1. Vietinbank (CTG) also slid by over 7 percent as the share price reflected its stock split.

Of the 10 leading shares by capitalisation, only Phu My Fertiliser (DPM) and real estate developer Vincom (VIC) saw modest gains.

Military Bank (MBB) was the most-active share yesterday with nearly 1.4 million changing hands. It closed up 1.2 percent to 12,800 VND per share.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index erased Monday's gains, sliding by 0.86 percent to close the session at 61.38 points, with decliners overwhelming advancers by 155-61. Market volume declined nearly 30 percent to just over 22 million shares, while the value of trades also dropped 25 percent to just over 215.1 billion VND (10.2 million USD).

Kim Long Securities (KLS) continued to be the most-active share on the northern bourse with over 2.3 million changing hands, but it closed down 1.9 percent to 10,100 VND (0.48 USD).

PetroVietnam Securities Co analysts said the prices of most shares had retreated to a very low base on both exchanges, and, if there was no new negative information revealed, the market would unlikely plunge further.

"Despite Government assurances that it would take stronger measures to rescue the real estate and securities markets, investors will retain a cautious attitude unless specific actions are introduced," they wrote in a report. "Therefore, the market will likely fluctuate within a narrow margin."/.