Vietnam index up 0.5 pct at midday, banks lead

Fri Mar 7, 2014 12:01am EST

HANOI, March 7 (Reuters) - Vietnam's benchmark VN Index
 rose 0.5 percent at the break on Friday, led by the
banking sector, while strong selling might emerge when the index
approaches the 595-point resistance level, an analyst said.
    Shares in Ho Chi Minh City-based Sacombank climbed
2.99 percent after a state-run newspaper quoted a Sacombank
executive on Friday as saying the bank planned to merge with
Phuong Nam Bank, or Southern Bank. 
    "While buying demand seemed solid at the moment, foreigners'
selling might extend in coming weeks," said analyst Doan Thi Anh
Nguyet at Saigon-Hanoi Securities.
    Analysts said exchange-traded funds Market Vectors Vietnam
 and db x-trackers FTSE Vietnam, both are
foreign funds, could sell more than buy Vietnamese shares as
they restructure portfolios until March 21.
    Foreign investors have been net sellers of a combined 402
billion dong ($19 million) worth of shares on the Ho Chi Minh
Stock Exchange between Monday and Thursday, according to
exchange's data.
    Here is a snapshot of the VN Index at midday (0431
GMT).
                 VN Index       581.48             
              PREV. CLOSE       578.56             
                 % CHANGE        0.50%             
                                                   
                     HIGH       582.09             
                      LOW        579.1             
                                                   
        Change (%) 1-mnth        4.305             
        Change (%) 3-mnth       13.417             
        Change (%) 1-year       22.813             
                                                   
             52-week high        596.4    27-Feb-14
             52-week low        461.61     5-Mar-13
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