Vietnam stock market set to do better this year

By Dat Nguyen   May 3, 2019 | 04:31 pm GMT+7
Vietnam stock market set to do better this year
People walk past the stock exchange centre in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo by Reuters/Kham
Strong exports and a vibrant M&A market will most likely boost Vietnam’s stock market this year, experts say.

Nguyen Duy Hung, chairman of Saigon Securities Inc (SSI), said that although the market will likely see large fluctuations this year, his company has set targets based on the scenario that the market will perform as good as or better than last year.

With listed companies forecast to record an average 13.3 percent increase in profit this year, the market will likely grow, he said, adding that liquidity will likely increase 5-10 percent over last year.

Further equitization and divestment from state-owned enterprises over the next two years will support economic development, Hung added.

Mergers and acquisitions are forecast to be active this year, especially in retail, food production, fast moving consumer goods and pharmacy sectors.

The Vietnamese market is also seeing the participation of more financially strong international stock companies with skilled human resources.

Stock brokerage VNDirect had said earlier that investors are likely to be less interested in newly listed stocks, focusing more on blue-chip companies with deep pockets that are leading the market.

Vietnam’s exports will continue to be strong, with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) coming into effect this year. Therefore, investors will be interested in seafood, textile, agriculture and logistics sectors, VNDirect said.

The brokerage forecast that Vietnam’s benchmark VN-Index will end the year at 990 points, 11 percent higher than last year.

Vietnam’s stock market went through a turbulent year last year with the VN-Index ending at 892 points, 10 percent lower to the end of 2017 despite earlier forecast that it would step past the four-figure threshold.

The first quarter this year closed "quietly," as both foreign and local investors played safe, experts said. Most local brokerages reported that profits declined by double digits in the first quarter, citing negative market conditions.

On Friday, the index hit 974 points, 8.5 percent higher than the beginning of the year.

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