Stocks hover around 314 points

The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange took a nap Tuesday after three minor drops during the morning, as investors bought shares over expectations of strong earning results in the fourth quarter last year, which will be released soon this month.

VN-Index, Vietnam’s main stock index, closed at 314.04 points, showing a slight gain of 0.68 percent.

Turnover was slightly improved, with 10.3 million shares traded for VND257 billion ($14.7 million). Of the index’s 176 members, 108 moved up and 32 slipped.

Foreign investors continued to buy most stocks, pumping in VND32 billion ($1.83 million). PetroVietnam Fertilizer and Chemical Joint-Stock Co. (DPM), Saigon Securities Inc. (SSI), Pha Lai Thermal Power (PPC), Hoa Phat Group (HPG) and Hoa Sen Group (HSG) were among their top five buys.

Vincom Joint-Stock Co. (VIC), the seventh-largest company by value on the exchange, fell VND2,000, 2.5 percent, to VND78,000 ($4.46). Pham Nhat Vuong, a member of Vincom’s management board, cut his holding in the company to 3.3 percent from 5.4 percent, according to a statement posted on the exchange’s website late yesterday.

Saigon Telecommunication & Technology Corp. (SGT), known as SaigonTel, rose VND800, 3.02 percent, to close at VND27,300 ($1.56). Major shareholder Nguyen Thi Kim Xuan increased her stake in the company to 6.64 percent from 5.33 percent, the exchange said in a statement on its website late yesterday.

Saigon Fuel Joint-Stock Co. (SFC) advanced VND2,000, 4.2 percent, to VND50,000. Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint-Stock Co. plans to buy 140,000 shares to increase its holding to 24.8 percent from the current 20.7 percent, according to a statement on the exchange’s website. The purchase will start Jan. 7 and completed Jan. 22.

Doan Xa Port Joint-Stock Co. (DXP) gained VND1,000, or 4.7 percent, to VND22,500. The company’s estimated 2008 pre-tax profits will more than double to VND32 billion, the exchange said in a statement.

Thong Nhat Rubber Joint-Stock Co. (TNC) rose VND400, or the maximum 5 percent allowed by the exchange, to VND8,400. Vietnam will reduce rubber exports by as much as 31 percent, equal to 200,000 metric tons this year to boost prices and help local producers ‘survive when the global economy hasn’t shown signs of recovery,’ Vietnam
Rubber Association said in a statement on its website late yesterday.

The smaller market in Hanoi made a positive move, with the HaSTC-Index rising 1.75 points, 1.69 percent, to end the day at 105.53.

Reported by Thieu Gia

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