Influential stocks Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) and Masan Group (MSN) slumped on Jan. 24 dragging the VN-Index down 1.85 percent to close at 509.88, ending its eighth successive day of gains.

On the HCM Stock Exchange, heavy profit-taking pushed BVH and MSN down to their floor prices after one week of top-to-the-ceiling jumps.

Sai Gon Securities Inc (SSI), the most active stock with 2.4 million shares changing hands, also declined by 2.7 percent.

The market closed with 194 decliners (28 dropped to the floor), 42 gainers (six rose to the ceiling) and 48 closing unchanged.

Trading volume reduced by over 18 percent from Jan. 21 to just 38.3 million shares, worth a total of 1 trillion VND (51.3 million USD).

Au Viet Securities Co analysts said small investors were still used to investing in penny and mid-cap stocks whose prices range from 10,000-20,000 VND (0.51-1.03 USD). Therefore, although the VN-Index rose strongly last week, the majority of investors did not profit, and even suffered losses.

Dairy company Vinamilk (VNM) and Vietcombank (VCB) both climbed to the ceiling for two consecutive days on Jan. 24. VNM closed at 98,000 VND (5.03 USD) and VCB at 34,600 VND (1.77 USD).

On Jan. 24, the Vinamilk management board decided to issue bonus shares to existing shareholders at the ratio of 2:1 and planned to auction 3 per cent of its charter capital to the public. The shareholder meeting, scheduled for March 25, is expected to approve this decision.

In Ha Noi, the HNX-Index also fell 1.53 percent to finish at 106.22 and losers were four times higher than gainers.

Blue chips, including Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), Kim Long Securities (KLS) and construction company Vinaconex (VCG), declined slightly. Meanwhile, most gainers were penny stocks, such as Art Design and Communication Co (ADC), Seafood Co No 1 (SJ1) and beverage maker Thang Long Co (VTL) who all rose to the ceiling.

PetroVietnam Construction (PVX) was the most heavily-traded with over 2 million shares exchanged. It rose 1 per cent to 21,000 VND (1.08 USD).

Foreign investors were net buyers on Jan. 24 on both exchanges, picking up over 1.6 million shares worth 62.5 billion VND (3.2 million USD)./.