A strong performance on April 14 by financial conglomerate Masan Group (MSN) failed to prevent the VN-Index from declining for a second straight day. The Index closed at 460.63 points, a loss of 0.08 percent from the previous day.

MSN shares rose to their ceiling price for the session of 87,000 VND (4.15 USD) after global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts agreed to buy a 10 percent stake in Masan affiliate Masan Consumer for 159 million USD.

Overall, however, shares remained in a downtrend on the HCM Stock Exchange, with decliners outnumbering advancers on April 14 by 142-54.

Blue chips were mixed, with Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), Phu My Fertilisers (DPM) and steel producer Hoa Phat Group (HPG) each rising by less than 1 percent, while Vietinbank (CTG), software giant FPT and PetroVietnam Finance (PVF) each declined by 2-3 percent.

Both the value and volume of trades on the HCM City bourse on April 14 dropped by about 6 percent, with value totalling just 496 billion VND (23.7 million USD) on a volume of 24.3 million shares.

Sacombank (STB) was the most-active share nationwide, with 3.1 million changing hands – its highest volume in the past two months. STB closed up 0.7 percent to 13,900 VND (0.70 USD) a share.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index retreated by another 0.39 percent to 89.07 points. The value of trades fell 6 percent to a meagre 266.2 billion VND (12.7 million USD), on a volume of only 18 million shares.

Losers outnumbered gainers by 185-75, with VNDirect Securities (VND) the most-active share on the Hanoi bourse on a volume of 1.38 million. VND closed down 1.4 percent to 14,500 VND (0.75 USD).

"Draining volumes show that investors are leaving the market," said independent analyst Pham Viet Hung. "In fact, investors can hardly make a profit from investing in the current bear market."

FPT Securities Co analysts said the central bank decision to increase foreign currency reserve requirements imposed on commercial banks and the application of a ceiling on interest rates they can pay on US dollar deposits would not help increase cash flows into the stock market.

Meanwhile, April's economic data and first-quarter corporate earnings reports would be closely monitored in the coming weeks to determine a new market trend, they wrote in a note, predicting the market would continue to fluctuate within a narrow band with low volumes in the next sessions.

Foreign investors concluded on April 14 as net buyers on both exchanges, picking up 2.2 million shares worth a combined 46 billion VND (2.2 million USD). /.