The VN-Index added another 1.3 percent in value to end Feb. 23's session at 423.89 points.

The value of trades on the HCM Stock Exchange also rose by 30 percent over previous day's level to 960.8 billion VND (45.7 million USD), while volume reached 67.4 million shares.

Advancers outnumbered decliners by 198-50, while the VN30, which tracks the country's 30 best stocks, also edged up by 1.15 percent to 476.40 points.

Of the 10 leading shares by capitalisation, real estate developer Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG) hit its ceiling price of 27,600 VND per share, while Sacombank (STB) – beset by takeover rumours – was the only leading stock to lose value, retreating by 1.6 percent.

Military Bank (MBB) was the most-active code on the southern bourse with nearly 5.8 million shares changing hands, but the most-active share nationwide was Habubank (HBB), with 13.3 million traded on the Hanoi Stock Exchange. HBB has seen several sessions with volumes of over 10 million shares.

Total volume on the Hanoi bourse reached 76.7 million shares, while the value of trades rose 12.5 percent over the previous session to 627.5 billion VND ( 29.8 million USD). The HNX-Index closed up by 1.6 percent to 66.78 points.

Tran Thi Kim Cuong, head of the securities investment division of Canada's Manulife Financial Corporation's Vietnam-based unit, told Bloomberg that Vietnam's stock market, which has already gained 18 percent since the beginning of this year, was considered the second-best performing in Asia and predicted that the VN-Index would climb as high as 516 points this year.

"The market this year is poised for more upside potential than downside," Cuong said.

However, Bao Viet Securities Co analyst Nguyen Xuan Binh gave a more cautious assessment. "As the market continues to heat up, we doubt its increasing momentum will be sustainable," Binh said.

Foreign investors on Feb. 23 picked up a combined net of around 95.7 billion VND (4.5 million USD) worth of shares on both stock exchanges.-VNA