Shares sank to a two-month low on Oct. 18 on both of the nation's stock exchanges after Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh the same day indicated that the Government would soon lower economic growth forecasts for the next four years.

Speaking at a seminar entitled World Economic Outlook and Vietnam 's Policy Response, Ninh said the Government will propose that the National Assembly reduce the economic growth target for the 2012-15 period from 7-7.5 percent to 6-6.5 percent.

Investor sentiment further worsened after the State Bank of Vietnam again devalued the dong, changing the interbank exchange rate to 20,723 VND per US dollar – the eighth change to the exchange rate since the beginning of October and the most significant change since April.

On the HCM Stock Exchange, the VN-Index declined by another 1.6 percent from Oct. 17 to close at 404.32 points. The value of trades fell by over 16 percent to just 370 billion VND (17.6 million USD) on a modest volume of 24.4 million shares.

Decliners overwhelmed advancers by 176-46, with none of the 10 leading shares by capitalisation posting gains. Eximbank (EIB), with over 1.5 million shares traded, became the most-active code in HCM City but lost another 2 percent to close at 14,600 VND per share.

To date, only three of the top 20 companies on the HCM City bourse have posted their business results for the first nine months of the year. Of the three, PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services (PVD) posted a profit of 820 billion VND (39 million USD), Sacombank (STB) saw a profit of 2.17 trillion VND (103.5 million USD), and Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) posted a loss of 17.4 billion VND (828,600 USD) during the period.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index also fell nearly 1 percent to conclude Oct. 18's session at 67.81 points. Only 52 stocks gained while 189 lost ground.

The value of trades increased slightly to 262.6 billion VND (12.68 million USD) as 28.8 million shares changed hands. Kim Long Securities Co (KLS) is the most-active share, with around 3.8 million traded, but it slumped by 3.8 percent to 9,900 VND per share.

Foreign investors continued to be net sellers on both exchanges, unloading a combined net of nearly 30 billion VND (1.4 million USD) worth of shares./.