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Foreign investors sell out blue chips on Covid fears: analyst

By Phuong Dong   June 30, 2021 | 08:48 pm PT
Foreign investors sell out blue chips on Covid fears: analyst
An investor looks at stock prices on a smartphone at the Yuanta securities firm in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, on March 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Foreign investors sold blue chips worth over US$1 billion in the first half of the year, according to Yuanta Securities.

Matthew Smith, head of research at the company, said in a recent note that net selling by foreign investors in the period was $1.4 billion, 67 percent higher than in the same period last year.

They were big sellers also in South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, and India due to worries about the Covid-19 pandemic, global inflation and the dollar’s strength. In May alone they sold $12 billion worth of stocks in the six markets, 4 percent of it in Vietnam.

Four of the five blue chips they sold in Vietnam have run up sharply since the beginning of this year: HPG of leading steelmaker Hoa Phat by 71 percent, CTG of VietinBank by 48 percent, VPB of VPBank by 105 percent, and MBB of Military Bank by 78 percent.

They sold $1.03 billion worth of the four stocks, accounting for 77 percent of their total sales in the market.

Smith said profit taking and portfolio restructure could have been the reasons for the liquidation, pointing out that the four shares had become too big as a ratio of their portfolios.

The fifth blue chip they sold out was VNM of dairy giant Vinamilk, of which they sold $271 million worth. But its price was 14 percent down for the year.

Smith said institutional investors have held on to VNM in recent years and not sold it, but in the last few months they have reversed this decision because the room for the company’s growth is shrinking.

But he does not expect the selling to last long because of Vietnam’s positive macroeconomic factors and its stock market’s potential for strong growth.

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