Vietnam index up 0.5 pct by midday; banks lead

Tue May 27, 2014 1:03am EDT

HANOI, May 27 (Reuters) - Vietnam's benchmark VN Index
 rose 0.49 percent by the mid-day break on Tuesday, led by
gains in banking stocks.
    Vietcombank, Vietnam's biggest lender by market
capitalisation, was up 1.83 percent, and Hanoi-based BIDV
 also gained 1.37 percent.
    "Foreign investors, who are mostly institutions, trade on
value of stocks, so falling share prices are seen as investment
opportunities," said Deputy General Director Trinh Hoai Giang of
Ho Chi Minh City Securities.
    Foreign investors in May have so far bought net 1.7 trillion
dong ($80.4 million) worth of Vietnamese equities as of Monday,
the largest monthly level since the beginning of the year,
exchange's data showed.
    But trade is likely to be weak in coming sessions, given the
risk of rising tension between Vietnam and China over an ongoing
dispute in the South China Sea, analysts said. 
    Here is a snapshot of the VN Index at midday (0431
GMT).
                VN Index      546.75            
             PREV. CLOSE      544.06            
                % CHANGE       0.49%            
                                                
                    HIGH      547.53            
                     LOW      542.49            
                                                
       Change (%) 1-mnth      -6.022            
       Change (%) 3-mnth      -7.757            
       Change (%) 1-year        8.76            
                                                
            52-week high      609.46   25-Mar-14
            52-week low       462.13   30-Aug-13
 ($1 = 21,110 dong)

 (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Anand Basu)
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