Trades were sluggish during the morning session of May 17 on the HCM Stock Exchange, and the VN-Index tumbled by 1.63 percent to close at the end of afternoon trading at 442.58 points.

The value of trades dropped 11.5 percent from the previous day’s level to 1.15 trillion VND (54.7 million USD), while volume also fell by 10.2 percent to 77.7 million shares.

The VN30 declined by 1.2 percent to 513.46 points, with two-thirds of the 30 leading shares tracked by the index retreat, including several top shares, pushing indices down.

Insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), financial conglomerate Ocean Group (OGC) and Tan Tan Investment Group (ITA) bottomed out, while Vietcombank (VCB) tumbled by 4.4 percent, Sacombank (STB) declined by 2.8 percent and real estate developer Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG) shed 2.4 percent.

The head of research and analysis for Kim Eng Securities Co, Michael Kokalari tried to soothe investor worries by giving a positive outlook on the Vietnamese stock market. Looser monetary policies can help boost the market going forward, he said, predicting that the market can gain overall by a least 10 percent by the end of the year.

Economist Tran Du Lich pointed to the positive sign of declining interest rates and predicted that cash flows can once again pour into the stock market.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange on May 17, the HNX-Index also declined by 1.8 percent to close at 76.15 points. Value totaled 545.9 billion VND (26 million USD) on a volume of 50.8 million shares. VNDirect Securities Co (VND) replaced Habubank (HBB) as the most-active share with 3.7 million changing hands.

Foreign investors dumped blue chips on May 17, selling a net of 5.7 billion VND (271,400 USD) worth of shares in Vietcombank (VCB) alone. However, about 92 percent of foreign investor sales were focused on BVH.-VNA