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Vietcombank bonds buck sluggish market   2008-06-03 - VNS

An investor mopes over his lost investments after the VN-Index spent a full month declining. — VNS Photo Viet Thanh

The start of a new week, and a new month, did little to change the longstanding patterns on the HCM Stock Exchange yesterday.

The VN-Index continued its daily slide, losing another 1.49 per cent of its value to close at 407.94, a drop of 6.16 points.

The value of the day’s trades was miniscule, reaching only VND53.25 billion (US$3.33 million) on a volume of 1.45 million shares.

Total securities trading in HCM City yesterday, including corporate bonds and fund certificates, hit a healthier volume of 10.18 million, however, and generated a total turnover of VND922.85 billion ($57.68 million), largely on the strength of yesterday’s auction of Vietcombank bonds.

So, while interest in the stock market has largely dried up, there was action down the hall surrounding bond trading, where typical daily volumes were usually in the 1-2 million range.

The interest in these bonds had little impact on stock trading, admitted Nguyen Hai Hien, a broker in Da Nang Securities, but it testified to a continued investor interest in the nation’s capital markets.

In regular trading on the big board, meanwhile, shares of real estate developer Vincom (VIC) were the most active of the day, even though only about 500,000 shares changed hands.

Of only five gainers during yesterday’s stock-trading session, only resort operator Vinpearl (VPL) made a noticeable gain, rising 0.88 per cent to VND114,000.

"Foreigners eye Vinpearl as a good stock because of the large potential of local tourism and positive reports from this sector in the first five months of the year," commented Hien.

Foreign investors were approaching the market cautiously in the days following last week’s three-day suspension of trading due to a technical error. They were net buyers, but only to the tune of a mere 99,800 shares.

Finally, rumours also abounded during yesterday’s session that a number of banks holding shares as collateral for loans were attempting to secure direct buyers of the shares through negotiation, rather than dumping them on the market.

"If that happens, we’ll have a huge relief from the psychological pressure of these collateral shares hanging over the market," said Huu Nghia, a client of VNDirect Securities.

Up in Ha Noi yesterday, the HASTC-Index also continued falling, dropping 1.41 per cent to end the day at 117.63. Trading volume was just 1.57 million shares, for a combined value of only VND44 billion ($2.75 million).

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