Local investors maintained their strong buys on August 22 afternoon, keeping the benchmark VN-Index above the five-year peak of 615 points reached in October 2009 to close at 620.14 points.

On the Hochiminh Stock Exchange, advancers doubled decliners and blue chips continued to be the market momentum.

PV Gas (GAS), the biggest stock with the highest market value, jumped 3.4 percent to 122,000 VND (5.78 USD) per share.

The VN30 which tracks the top 30 shares by market value and liquidity was up 0.77 percent to stand at 654.96 points.

Liquidity was good with market volume increasing 10 percent above the previous session, totalling more than 163.5 million shares and fund certificates. However, value of trades declined 15 percent to 2.787 trillion VND (132 million USD).

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index also climbed to a four-month high at 83.34 points, up 0.4 percent over the previous session.

The gainers outnumbered the losers by 113-81 and 161 stocks closed unchanged.

Liquidity waned, however, as both market volume and value declined 10 percent from August 21's levels, totalling nearly 60 million shares, worth 765.2 billion VND (36.3 million USD).

Real estate companies also dominated trading on the northern bourse. The two most active stocks were from this sector. Both PetroVietnam Construction Corporation (PVX) and Sai Gon Thuong Tin Real Estate Company (SCR) saw about 6 million shares traded on each code.

According to many analysts, investors are optimistic and believe the market will go further.

Foreign investors extended their net buys yesterday on both markets, picking up shares worth a combined 98 billion VND (4.6 million USD).-VNA