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Little impact from ‘technical error’   2008-06-01 - VNS

Following a week in which the exchange went dark for four days due to a ‘technical error,’ trading resumed on Friday only to see the VN-Index fall another 6.41 points, ending the month of May at 414.1.

The VN-Index posted a cumulative loss for the month of 20.73 per cent of its value.

Engineers from Hewlett-Packard Viet Nam blamed the error that led to a three-day suspension of trading to a hitch in the exchange’s Unix operating system, a rare error that took some time to identify and repair.

The glitch was also regarded by some as a chance for investors to take a breather and to ease a mounting panic over the constant decline of the VN-Index throughout May.

But the old patterns returned on Friday, with the VN-Index closing off again and volumes still modest

In Friday’s trading, volume was 9.8 million shares, with a value of VND427.57 billion (US$26.72 million), about 4 per cent lower than Friday’s total a week earlier.

Two-thirds of the 153 listed codes on the HCM City Stock Exchange lost value on the week or remained unchanged.

Real estate developer Vincom (VIC) was the most active share, thanks to a high-volume buyback by a member of the company’s management board.

An announced plan to list offshore was unable to help Vinamilk (VNM) avoid falling. VNM lost 3.57 per cent on the week to close at VND108,000.

Despite being regarded as defensive investments during the tense economic times, healthcare stocks like Hau Giang Pharmaceuticals (DHG) or Imexpharm Pharmaceuticals (IMP) also suffered on the week, with DHG falling 3.79 per cent to VND153,000 and IMP losing 3.42 per cent to close at VND113,000.

Gainers were penny stocks like Sai Gon Telecommunication and Technologies (SGT), advancing 1.87 per cent to VND38,200, and Dong Nai Paint (SDN), which rose 1.91 per cent to VND21,800.

Vincom Securities analyst Phan Anh Tuan said this week’s suspension of trading due to a ‘technical error’ did nothing to help calm nervous investors. The unstable economic situation continued to have many worried.

"It is now not a problem with the stock market, but a problem with the economy generally," Tuan said. "Only when inflation is curbed, and problems solved in the exchange rate between the dong and the US dollar, will investors trade actively again."

Suspension of trading on the HCM City exchange help shift a little more attention than usual to the Ha Noi market, however, with Ha Noi seeing a 20.8 per cent rise in trading volume on the week.

About 9.3 million shares changed hands during the week on the Ha Noi bourse, for a total turnover of VND249.7 billion ($15.61 million).

The HASTC-Index closed at 127.93, a reduction of 24.35 per cent for the month of May.

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