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Christmas eve slows trading in HCM City   2008-12-25 - Viet Nam News

The VN-Index marched in place on Christmas Eve, picking up a negligible 0.12 points to close at 304.05 on slow trading.

In Ha Noi yesterday, the HASTC-Index slid 0.86 per cent to end the day at 104.35, with 65 codes advancing and 57 declining. Trading volume fell 20.6 per cent to 5 million shares, with a revenue of VND108.87 billion.

Volume fell a whopping 41 per cent from Tuesday's session to 11.64 million shares, for a turnover of VND283.8 billion (US$17.2 million). The day witnessed 68 gainers and 43 losers.

Transactions were modest in most codes, as Sacombank (STB) led the southern exchange with about a million shares traded, followed by Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) with 935,000 shares, and PetroVietnam Insurance (PVI) with 779,000.

Newcomer Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAG) hit the ceiling of its regulated trading band for the third straight day, many major stocks - including FPT, Phu My Fertilisers (DPM) and Pha Lai Thermal Power (PPC) - continued the downward spiral, weighing on the Index.

Foreign investors yesterday bought a net of about 800,000 shares, with net purchase value narrowing slightly to VND37 billion ($2.2 million) from Tuesday's VND43.3 billion ($2.6 million).

"In order for the market to determine an upward trend, the VN-Index needs to surpass the psychologically important range of 308-320 points, with dramatically sharp rises in trading volumes, which show investors' excitement and readiness to enter the market," wrote the Bao Viet Securities analysis department in a report.

The market was still waiting on authorities to make a final decision on the pending new taxes of securities income and capital gains, the department said.

Bui Kien Thanh, an independent securities expert, said the market was likely to slide further downwards over the next six months, noting difficulties facing both the world and domestic economies. He also warned that the banking system could face higher risks due to lowered interest rates.

Fiachra MacCana, an expert at HCM City Securities Co, predicted the VN-Index would fluctuate within a band of 20 per cent around 300 points before the market hit rock bottom. It will probably rebound whenever the property market stabilises, expected in the first quarter of 2009.

As the stock market reflects expectations, he said, it would rally prior to an expected economic rebound.

In Ha Noi yesterday, the HASTC-Index slid 0.86 per cent to end the day at 104.35, with 65 codes advancing and 57 declining. Trading volume fell 20.6 per cent to 5 million shares, with a revenue of VND108.87 billion ($6.6 million).

The northern market also saw minimal activity, as the most active stock, Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) generated orders for only 787,000 shares, while its runner-up, PetroVietnam Insurance (PVI), reached 755,000 shares.



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