February 21, 2013 / 11:06 AM / 5 years ago

Vietnam share index has biggest fall in 6 months

HANOI, Feb 21 (Reuters) - The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange’s VN Index fell 3.7 percent on Thursday, its biggest one-day drop in six months.

On a day in which many Asian markets fell, Vietnam’s index ended at 476.73 points. It is still up more than 15 percent this year.

Analysts said shares came under pressure because of margin calls from brokers, and unsubstantiated rumours that petrol prices would rise and that a banker had been detained added to negative sentiment.

Vu Duy Khanh, head analyst at Navibank Securities, said the drop could have stemmed from the pressure of margin calls as many investors recently have been in highly leveraged positions.

After the market closed, state-owned VNexpress.net quoted the banker rumoured to have been detained as denying it.

In late August and September last year the market was rocked by the trouble at Ho Chi Minh City-based Asia Commercial Bank , involving the arrest and resignation of several bank executives.

Shares of Bao Viet Holdings, Saigon Securities Inc. and Petrovietnam Finance Corp all fell 6.7 percent.

Petrovietnam Construction Co, a major blue chip on the Hanoi exchange, reported a loss of 1.22 trillion dong for 2012 after a net profit of 30.8 billion dong the year before. The stock fell 9.7 percent.

Tran Minh Hoang, an analyst at Vietcombank Securities said, said the company’s loss “shows that the domestic property market, the backbone of the economy, is still in the doldrums.” (Reporting by Hanoi Newsroom; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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