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Stocks enter ‘final phase’ of bear market   2008-12-11 - Thanh Nien

Ho Chi Minh City shares Wednesday failed to consolidate the previous day’s gains, losing 2.2 percent as volumes again remained thin.



The VN-Index of 168 firms and four closed-end funds finished the day 6.45 points down at 286.85, the lowest level since October 2, 2005.

Losers led gainers by 118 to 30 with 24 stocks remaining unchanged.

All 10 largest stocks except PV Drilling slumped to drag the index down.

“Part of the slump in activity is related to the dong which has lost a little ground recently in the informal market,” Fiachra Mac Cana, managing director of Ho Chi Minh City Securities Corporation (HSC), said in a daily market comment.

“Some foreign commentators have mentioned the possibility of a further depreciation in the currency next year.

“We believe that we have now entered the final phase of the current bear market.

“This is the ‘the capitulation phase where even retail investors sell and run. This phase is typically characterized by low turnover and a steady decline in prices over a period of weeks or even months.

“Frankly we have no idea how long this phase might last and it could easily go on for a couple of months yet. But for the longer term player this is the best chance to buy into weakness at their leisure.”

Bloomberg quoted Phan Quoc Huynh, Hanoi-based director of VietinBank Securities Inc. as saying, “Foreign and domestic investment funds have brought their trading almost to a halt as they have been facing losses.”

“Liquidity in the market is also very low and share prices are expected to continue declining.

“In this situation, most small brokerages in Vietnam are struggling to survive. They have been facing huge losses on investments and brokerage fees.”

Foreigners Wednesday turned net buyers for the first time this month, pumping VND41.6 billion (US$2.4 million) into the market.

Imexpharm Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Co. (IMP) rose VND1,000, or 1.8 percent, to VND58,000. The company’s pre-tax profit in the first 11 months of this year was VND64.7 billion (US$3.8 million), according to a statement posted on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange’s website.

Binh Minh Plastics Joint Stock Co. (BMP), lost VND1,500, or the daily allowed limit of 5 percent, to close at VND28,500. Citigroup Global Market Ltd. and Citigroup Global Market Financial Products Ltd. have sold 159,422 shares to cut their stakes in the firm to 5.15 percent from 6.1 percent, according to the exchange.

Cuu Long Fish Joint Stock Co. (ACL) declined VND900, or 4.5 percent, to close at VND19,100. Le Thi Le, wife of chairman Tran Van Nhan sold 500,000 shares to cut her holding to 13.3 percent from 18.9 percent, the stock exchange said Wednesday.

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