Vietnam index up 2 pct at midday, banks and blue chips gain

Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:09am EST

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HANOI, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Vietnam's benchmark VN Index
 jumped 2 percent at the break on Monday, lifted by gains
in blue chips and banking shares, while profit-taking in
speculative stocks capped the rise, an analyst said.
    Institutional investors have been buying blue chips,
especially those that did not rise strongly in 2013, said Nguyen
Tuan of An Binh Securities. Gains in big firms with good
corporate earnings would extend and push the index up further in
the next few weeks, Tuan said.
    Investors are also interested in banking stocks after news
that BIDV, Vietnam's second largest bank by assets, would debut
on Friday on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange. 
    All banks rose on Monday, with Sacombank surging
6.84 percent and Hanoi-based lender Vietcombank 
climbing 3.17 percent.
    Food producer Ma San Group jumped 6.81 percent and
top insurer Baoviet Holdings advanced 6.76 percent.
    But investors are selling speculative stocks, especially
those in the real estate sector, including property firm FLC
Group, which plummeted 4.76 percent and Dat Xanh Real
Estate Service and Construction which fell 2.4 percent.
  
    Here is a snapshot of the VN Index at midday (0431
GMT).
                 VN Index       554.44            
              PREV. CLOSE       543.59            
                 % CHANGE        2.00%            
                                                  
                     HIGH       559.93            
                      LOW       548.22            
                                                  
        Change (%) 1-mnth        7.499            
        Change (%) 3-mnth        8.807            
        Change (%) 1-year        19.01            
                                                  
             52-week high       549.88   17-Jan-14
             52-week low        440.48   23-Jan-13
 
 (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Martin Petty)
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