January 20, 2014 / 8:42 AM / in 4 years

Vietnam index scales 4-yr high on foreign buying

HANOI, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Vietnam's benchmark VN Index
 climbed 1.85 percent to close at a high of more than four
years on Monday, boosted by foreign buying in banking stocks and
blue chips.
    The index finished at 553.67 points, the highest since
November 2009, buoyed by foreign investors' appetite for blue
chips, a trend likely to continue in the short term, said Doan
Thi Anh Nguyen, an analyst at Saigon-Hanoi Securities.
    Foreign investors were net buyers of 1.07 trillion dong
($50.7 million) of equities from Jan. 1 to Jan. 17 on the Ho Chi
Minh Stock Exchange, almost as much as the whole of January last
year, exchange data showed.
    Banking shares all gained after news that BIDV, Vietnam's
second largest lender by assets, will debut on the Ho Chi Minh
Stock Exchange on Friday. 
    Sacombank climbed 6.84 percent, top insurer Baoviet
Holdings rose 6.76 percent and property firm Vingroup
 gained 4.83 percent. 
     Those firms are all on the portfolio of the Market Vectors
Vietnam exchange-traded fund (ETF). Recent increases in
the fund's premium will allow it to invest more, Nguyet said. It
climbed 3.61 percent on Friday, Reuters data showed.
    But there were more losers than gainers on the index on
Monday, showing traders were profit-taking on speculative
stocks, analysts said.
    Property firm FLC plummeted 5.95 percent and An
Duong Thao Dien Real Estate Co fell 3.8 percent.
    More than 1.9 trillion dong ($90.1 million) in stock value
were traded on the exchange on Monday, Reuters data showed.
    Here is a snapshot of the VN Index at the close (0801
                 VN Index       553.67           
              PREV. CLOSE       543.59           
                 % CHANGE        1.85%           
                     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
 ($1 = 21090.0000 Vietnam dong)

 (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Martin Petty)
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