Vietnam index eases 0.1 pct at midday, high volume
HANOI, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Vietnam's benchmark VN Index edged down 0.12 percent at the break on Thursday in high volume, with profit taking in most small-cap shares erasing gains in banks and some big-caps. Profit taking in penny stocks and strong buying in banking shares have boosted liquidity on the exchange, said deputy manager Nguyen Tuan at An Binh Securities. Volume soared to 131 million shares, close to the five-day average of 151 million, Reuters data showed. Property firm Vingroup lost 1.27 percent and top insurer Baoviet Holdings fell 1.87 percent. Most banks rose, led by VietinBank, Vietnam's second-largest lender by assets, which gained 1.8 percent. Vietnam will allow foreign investors to buy bigger stakes in its banks as of Thursday, the government has said. Here is a snapshot of the VN Index at midday (0431 GMT). VN Index 577.45 PREV. CLOSE 578.12 % CHANGE -0.12% HIGH 584.1 LOW 577.23 Change (%) 1-mnth 6.352 Change (%) 3-mnth 14.545 Change (%) 1-year 17.796 52-week high 578.8 19-Feb-14 52-week low 459.64 27-Feb-13 (Reporting by Mai Nguyen)
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