Shares set for marginal growth this week hinh anh 1An investor watches share prices on an iPad (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Shares are forecast to extend a rally this week. However, experts expect a slower pace of growth, as profit-taking selling pressure increases as the benchmark VN-Index continuously touches new nine-year highs.

The VN-Index has recorded five consecutive gaining weeks on the HCM Stock Exchange, expanding 1.31 percent last week and closing on May 26 at 743.41 points.

The southern market index has increased 3.6 percent this month and nearly 12 percent since the beginning of this year.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index gained 1.64 percent for the week, ending on May 26 at 93.69 points. The northern market index has climbed 17 percent this year.

Money heavily flowed in the two markets, with a total of 303.6 million shares averaging over 5.8 trillion VND (255.5 million USD) traded in the two markets in a single session. These figures represented increases of 74.6 percent in volume and 100 percent in value compared to the previous week’s levels.

Large-cap stocks, particularly banks, led the market rise following the information that the Government has submitted a new resolution on bad debts to the

National Assembly. If approved, the resolution will ease bottlenecks and speed up the process of settling bad debts in credit institutions.

Price of BIDV shares (BID) leapt 13.4 percent last week, while Military Bank (MBB) and Eximbank (EIB) shares increased 9.6 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively.

Though admitting the new resolution is a positive factor for bank stocks, Nguyen Ngoc Lan, head of the brokerage at Agribank Securities JSC, forecasts that bank stocks will likely stay in neutral position this week.

“It should be noted that bad debt restructuring is a time-consuming and difficult period, involving many economic subjects. Therefore, it takes a long time for the new policy to translate into business results for banks,” Lan told the website

She predicted that prices of bank shares would move around the current level with alternative up/down sessions.

Lan said cash inflows remain strong but the growth speed will likely slow down this week, as positive information has been reflected in the share prices.

“The VN-Index may maintain its upward trend in the first week of June before facing a correction period in the following week,” Lan said and noted money could flow in large-cap stocks, which have not increased much in the past period.

According to Nguyen Viet Duc, a market strategist at MB Securities Co, foreign buyers will continue to support the market in the coming time.

Foreign investors were responsible for total net buy value of 607 billion VND on the two exchanges last week, a rise of 110 percent over the previous week’s figure.

Duc said foreign investors have constantly collected local shares, making bets on strong economic performance of Vietnam. Both two ratings agencies, Moody’s Corporation and Fitch Group, upgraded their views on Vietnam’s prospect to positive.

Meanwhile, in mid-June, Vietnam’s stock market will likely be considered to enter the MSCI’s watchlist to be upgraded to an emerging market status.

“It is very important to have foreign investors’ confidence in the local market, because Vietnam’s P/E (Price- Earnings) ratio is no longer cheap and is still able to grow thanks to strong GDP growth compared to other regional countries,” Duc said.

He suggested that investors pay attention to the shares which could be added to portfolios of exchange-traded funds in their June’s reviews, including petrol retailer Petrolimex (PLX), Saigon Thuong Tin Real Estate (SCR), Kinh Bac City Development (KBC) and Hoa Binh Construction and Real Estate (HBC).

Several securities companies have predicted that the VN-Index will move around 747-750 points.-VNA