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Power shares brighten dull market   2010-08-06 - VNS

Shares closed essentially unchanged yesterday on the HCM City Stock Exchange, as the VN-Index ended the session off just 0.1 per cent to 486.21 points.

The Index was saved from further declines as investors probed to try to catch the bottom of the market, but purchasing remained hesitant and weak. The volume of trades reached only 37.15 million shares, worth a combined VND1.16 trillion (US$59.5 million).

"Buy orders increased sharply at the beginning of the session, fueled by a positive Dow Jones and contributed to lift the VN-Index by 2 points right after the opening bell," said independent securities analyst Nguyen Cong Chinh.

Electricity stocks became the centre of what little investor attention there was, Chinh said, pointing to significant trades yesterday in shares of Vinh Son-Song Hynh Hyrdopower (VSH) and Pha Lai Thermalpower (PPC).

VSH was the most-active share on the HCM City bourse yesterday, with a volume of 1.34 million, and the shares closed up 1.6 per cent despite the company's reported second-quarter losses.

PPC rose by an even more impressive 4.35 per cent and generated a volume of 1.2 million shares following the company's announced decision that it would buy back 2 million shares beginning August 10, as well as make a 3-per-cent dividend payment.

"Electricity shares are regarded as defensive since electricity is a life essential," Chinh said. "Meanwhile, foreign investors regard the electricity sector as a lucrative option to banking, petroleum and telecom shares."

A market analyst with financial services provider Stoxplus Corporation, Le Cong, also highlighted trades in shares of software giant FPT during yesterday's session.

"FPT remained near its ceiling price throughout the session, thanks to a sharp consolidation by foreign investors," Cong said, noting that information technology shares led the market, rising 2.7 per cent in value across the board.

Foreign investors yesterday bought in 268,570 FPT shares worth a total of over VND21 billion ($1.1 million).

The HCM City Stock Exchange also announced yesterday that FPT would pay a 10-per-cent dividend on August 31 and close registration for the dividend on August 13.

On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, meanwhile, the HNX-Index also largely marched in place, losing 0.28 per cent for a close at 147.45 points.

Trading volume on the northern bourse dropped by 10.7 per cent from Wednesday to just 27.9 million shares, with a combined value of VND754.03 billion ($38.7 million).

Vinaconex Transport Co (VCV), an affiliate of construction giant Vinaconex, saw its opening day of trading yesterday on the Ha Noi market. The newly-listed shares declined from an opening price of VND17,000 to a close of VND15,800 per share, while volume totalled just 130,600 shares.

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