March 3, 2014 / 9:01 AM / 4 years ago

Vietnam index drops 2.2 pct, more falls expected

HANOI, March 3 (Reuters) - 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%            
                     HIGH       587.11            
                      LOW       573.37            
        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

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