National stocks finished February 21’s session in the red as stock indices were dragged down mostly due to profit reports of listed companies.

The HNX-Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange saw its highest fall in two years, while the decrease of the VN-Index on the HCM Stock Exchange was also the highest since last August.

Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) announced the consolidated financial statements for the fourth quarter of last year with a net loss of more than 158 billion VND (7.5 million USD). The bank still reported 928 billion VND (44.1 million USD) in profits for the entire 2012, but the figure declined sharply from the 3.2 trillion VND (152.3 million USD) recorded in 2011.

Meanwhile, PetroVietnam Construction Co (PVX) posted a loss of over 1.2 trillion VND (57.4 million USD).

Rumour that chairman of the Bank for Investment Development of Vietnam (BIDV) was arrested was also attributable to the market’s hard fall during the day. However, BIDV’s chairman Tran Bac Ha refuted the rumour.

Meanwhile, the VN-Index in the southern bourse lost 3.66 percent to 476.73 points, with the number of losers and gainers almost even.

Heavy selling pushed the volume of trades up 57 percent over the previous day to 123.3 million shares, totalling a combined turnover of 1.68 trillion VND (80 million USD).

The tumble also covered blue chips. None of the 30 leading shares tracked by the VN30 made gains, and one third of them hit the decrease limit of 7 percent, including major companies such as insurer Bao Viet (BVH), steelmaker Hoa Phat (HPG), financial conglomerate Ocean Group (OGC) and Saigon Securities Inc (SSI).

The VN30 dropped 3.8 percent, reaching 550.42 points.

In Hanoi , the HNX-Index slipped 5.3 percent to just 63.45 points. Losers overwhelmed gainers by 213-52.

Profit-taking drove trading up around 60 percent to 1.1 trillion VND (52.6 million USD) in value and 132.14 million shares in volume.

The HNX30, representing the exchange’s top shares, retreated 7.23 percent, plunging to 125.27 points.-VNA