The VN-Index on Jan. 12 inched up 0.21 percent to close at 478.45 points as the market continued to drift sideways with no apparent up or downward trend in sight.

"In the context of the global economic situation, our economic performance in 2010 was acceptable, reflecting the Government's efforts. However, there are still concerns over macroeconomic problems including inflation, budget and trade deficit, and payment imbalances," said Tran Hoang Ngan, a member of the National Financial Monetary Policy Advisory Council.

"As a result, the US dollar exchange rate increased, impacting on inflation."

Vietnam 's inflation hit 22 percent in 2008 and reached double-digit figure of 11.75 percent last year, with regional inflation at just 3.7 percent in 2010.

Credit interest rates increased significantly, but credit growth still climbed to 27.65 percent, 2 percent higher than targeted. Vietnam needed bold measures to further control credit activities of commercial banks and ensure quality of loans, Ngan said.

The Government set an inflation target of 7 percent this year, meaning concerned State bodies would make great efforts to keep the rate below 3.5 percent in the first half of the year.

However, the target would not be easy to realise because demand skyrockets in the first two months of the year before Tet (Lunar New Year). "After Tet, the cost of oil, power and water are usually adjusted up and the CPI could rise by up to 1.5 percent in a month," he added.

"Therefore, to curb inflation, we have to tighten budget spending and cut investment in unnecessary public projects while controlling the trade deficit."

Also on Jan. 12, the Government asked the State Bank of Vietnam to co-ordinate with the Ministry of Finance and relevant State agencies to control inflation and the trade deficit and maintain stable monetary, credit and banking systems.

Particularly, the central bank would have to issue flexible monetary policies and carefully co-operate with others to control the growth of credit supply and ensure appropriate interest rates.

Trading volume on the HCM City bourse increased remarkably on the Jan. 12 trading session, with 41.2 million worth 1.19 trillion VND (56.7 million USD) changing hands, compared to an average of merely 30 million shares with a value of around 500 billion VND (23.8 million USD) over the past six days.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 150 to 61, while 64 remained steady.

Thirteen stocks hit their ceiling prices, including Sao Vang Rubber (SRC), De Tam (DTA), Becamex (IJC), Hamico Binh Thuan Mineral (KSA), Lilama 10 (L10), Rang Dong Lamp (RAL), and especially Vinpearl (VPL).

VPL reached its ceiling price for the fifth consecutive session and made gains for the 16th session in a row.

The HN-Index also gained 1.47 percent to close at 106.30 points. In contrast with the HCM City bourse, trading volume in Hanoi decreased slightly to 24.6 million shares, worth 469.2 billion VND (22.3 million USD).

The number of gainers was roughly twice the number of losers, 197 to 87, while 88 remained unchanged. /.