Foreign investors return to surging Vietnamese stock markets

By Minh Son   February 25, 2019 | 11:05 pm PT
Foreign investors return to surging Vietnamese stock markets
Foreign investors were net buyers of Vietnamese stocks, especially blue-chips. Photo by Shutterstock.
At over VND3 trillion ($129.21 million), foreign buying in the local bourses from February 1-25 is three times the January figure. 

Foreign investment since the beginning of the year has been worth over VND4.3 trillion ($185.16 million). 

They have been focusing on blue chips like Hoa Phat (HPG), one of Vietnam’s leading steel producers. The company, ignored for the last several months, returned to the portfolio of foreign investors and saw millions of shares traded every day in February. 

In the 11 sessions after the market reopened February 11 after the nine-day Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday from Feb 2-10, foreigners bought 20 million shares for more than VND600 billion ($25.8 million). A month earlier they had been net sellers of over 10 million shares. 

Other blue chips like Vietnam’s biggest dairy company Vinamilk (VNM), private conglomerate Masan Group (MSN) and the biggest bank by assets Vietcombank (VCB) have all run up quite sharply as a result of buying by foreign investors.  

The benchmark VN-Index has gained more than 100 points this year, equivalent to over 11 percent. On Monday it closed at 994.43 points, within touching distance of the psychological 1,000-point mark. 

Foreigners have played a significant role in the recovery, having invested over VND4.3 trillion ($185.16 million) in the period, almost half of it since Tet.

According to Rong Viet Securities Company, foreign investment this year could actually go down as a result of the reduction in monetary easing and fiscal stimulus across the globe this year, meaning there is less foreign cash available to invest in marginal markets such as Vietnam.

But it also points out that Vietnam is on the verge of being upgraded to ‘emerging’ market, which could be a positive sign for foreign investors. 

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