Shares of Sacombank (STB) sank to their floor price for a fourth consecutive session on Feb. 16, helping drag down indices on the HCM Stock Exchange.

Over six million STB shares were exchanged on the latest news that Sacombank will increase its charter capital by 17 percent this year to 11.7 trillion VND(557.1 million USD).

Other blue chips were mixed. While Tan Tao Investment and Industry (ITA) and software producer FPT posted gains of over 1 percent, insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) shed 1.9 percent of its value, and real estate developer Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG) and PetroVietnam Finance (PVF) each closed down by over 1 percent.

The VN-Index closed off overall by 0.23 percent to 396.51 points, while the VN30 Index closed at 443.54 points, a loss of 0.57 percent from the previous trading session.

The value of trades declined by 17 percent from the previous session, totalling 658 billion VND (31.3 million USD) on a volume of 34.8 million shares. Advancers managed to outnumber decliners, however, by a margin of 108-83.

With gainers edging losers by 118-95 on the Hani Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index reversed the previous session's losses, gaining 0.61 percent before ending the session at 60.58 points. The value of trades on the northern bourse decreased by 10 percent, meanwhile, to 265.3 billion VND (12.6 million USD), as 32.3 million shares changed hands.

Kim Long Securities (KLS), with nearly 3.8 million shares traded, was the day's most-active share before closing up 4.5 percent to 9,200 VND.

Many analysts continued to believe that the market was weighed down by the tight credit policies restricting bank lending to securities investors, but analyst Pham Kinh Luan told the newspaper Dau tu Chung khoan (Securities Investment) that it is too early to say whether the central bank's target of 16 percent credit growth this year is too low and will have a negative impact on cash flows into the stock market. Meanwhile, Directive No 1 creates different credit growth targets for different credit institutions.

"Directive No 01 creates a useful tool to support the stock market, one which will help investors better select bank shares," said Luan.

Foreign investors decreased their buys on both exchanges but still picked up a net of 8 billion VND(381,000 USD) worth of shares./.