While the stock market has been in a sustained slump, merger and acquisition deals continue on the rise.

Late last month, Germany's ERGO Insurance Group acquired a 25-per-cent stake, or 10 million shares, in the Vietnamese non-life insurer Global Insurance Company, forming a strategic partnership.

The deal was worth 380 billion VND (18.1 million USD) and attracted substantial media attention at a time when other insurers were having difficulties in selling stakes or increase their charter capital as requested by the Ministry of Finance.

Also at the end of February, the Vietnam Post Corporation invested in the Lien Viet Bank by using charter capital from it subsidiary Vietnam Postal Savings Service Co, valued at 163 billion VND (7.8 million USD).

After the deal, the bank changed its name to Lien Viet Post Commercial Bank and its charter capital is expected to increase to 5 trillion VND (238.1 million USD).

Other significant deals include leading distiller Diageo's purchase of a 23.6-percent stake in the Hanoi Liquor Joint Stock Co (Halico). The deal, worth 51.6 million USD and to be complete by the end of June, is expected to boost Diageo's presence in Vietnam's growing drinks market.

Analysts said the trend of both foreign and domestic institutional investors buying into profitable enterprises will continue this year, as these investments will allow new partners to get involved in companies' corporate restructuring, making them more valuable, and enabling them to maximise profits after they list on the stock market.

Shares of all of the targeted companies in these deals are traded on the OTC market and are considered sound shares with high liquidity./.