HANOI, March 3 Vietnam's benchmark VN Index
closed down 2.23 percent on Monday as investors sold
stocks before funds were expected to unload shares later this
month, while buying demand was not strong enough to provide
support, analysts said.
More than 70 percent of shares on the Ho Chi Minh Stock
Exchange lost ground, led by food producer Masan Group
that fell 4.9 percent.
PetroVietNam Gas, Vietnam's largest listed firm,
dipped 1.2 percent, while Hanoi-based lender Vietcombank
decreased 2.61 percent.
The fall on Monday is the biggest in more than six months.
The index might further fall as two major exchange-traded
funds Market Vectors Vietnam and db x-trackers FTSE
Vietnam are likely to sell stocks in the next few
weeks during their portfolio restructuring, analysts said.
"Selling was surprisingly strong and widespread, especially
in the afternoon session," said deputy manager Nguyen Tuan from
An Binh Securities.
The index had eased 0.8 percent by midday.
But a strong demand for stocks, expected to emerge if the
index drops to around 560-565 points, would help prevent a steep
fall, analysts said.
Here is a snapshot of the VN Index at the close (0801
VN Index 573.38
PREV. CLOSE 586.48
% CHANGE -2.23%
Change (%) 1-mnth 5.384
Change (%) 3-mnth 15.515
Change (%) 1-year 23.584
52-week high 596.4 27-Feb-14
52-week low 459.64 27-Feb-13