Vietnam stocks up at start of 2017 hinh anh 1Illustrative photo. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Shares opened the first trading day of the new year on a high note, with investors confident of bright prospect of the securities market.

On the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, the VN-Index rose 1.1 per cent to close at 672 points.

On the Hanoi bourse, the HNX-Index gained 1.6 percent to end at 81.4 points.

The southern bourse’s index rose nearly 15 percent in 2016, while the northern index remained mostly flat.

Bank stocks led the market upturn as six of nine listed banks gained value, with Vietinbank (CTG) and BIDV (BID), two of the three largest listed lenders, hitting the daily limit rise of 7 per cent on the HCM Stock Exchange.

Vietcombank (VCB) and Eximbank (EIB) also leapt 5 per cent, each.

The largest bank on the Hanoi market, Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), grew 8 percent.

Only Sacombank (STB) and Military Bank (MBB) stocks declined.

Banking stocks experienced one of their worst years in 2016 and analysts forecast this stock group would likely make a comeback this year.

Other large-cap shares were positive yesterday as 22 of the top 30 biggest shares by market capitalisation and liquidity increased. Investors were upbeat on optimistic comments by heads of the market regulating bodies.

“The market has experienced the worst things in 2016, and 2017 will see many positive factors,” said chairman of the State Securities Commission, Vu Bang.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is targeted to grow 6.7 per cent this year, while some bank policies, including interest and exchange rates, will be made more flexible to better support the economy.

These are important factors to maintain growing momentum for the stock market, Bang said.

Liquidity dropped with 117 million shares worth nearly 2.2 trillion VND (nearly 97 million USD) traded in the two markets, down 24 per cent in volume and 32 per cent in value compared to the December 31 trading session.

Foreign investors remained net buyers in the two markets, but their net buy value decreased substantially from 498 billion VND on December 31 to just 14.6 billion VND on January 3.-VNA