Relief measures fail to calm virus panic

Tuesday, Mar 24, 2020 07:09

A man works in the steel pipe factory of Hoa Phat Group JSC (HPG). HPG hit the price floor of VND17,300 on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha

Vietnamese shares nosedived on Monday as fears over the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe overshadowed nations’ stimulus measures to calm markets.

The benchmark VN-Index on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange lost 6.08 per cent to close at 666.59 points.

The index last week dropped a total of 5.07 per cent to hit a three-year low of 709.73 points.

More than 280.2 million shares were traded on the northern exchange, worth more than VND4.8 trillion (US$204.2 million).

The VN-Index has tumbled a total of 28.4 per cent since January 30 when the market returned from the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday and COVID-19 began hitting China hard.

The HNX-Index lost 5.24 per cent to end at 96.46 points on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange.

More than 72.8 million shares were traded on the northern exchange, worth more than VND754.5 billion.

Decisions by central banks across the globe to inject trillions of dollars to stabilise the financial system seemed unable to restore market confidence, according to Sai Gon-Ha Noi Securities Co (SHS).

Viet Nam’s finance ministry has cut 10-50 per cent of charges for nine securities services such as stock trading and deposits, position and margin management, auctions, and listed covered warrant management.

The move aims to ease difficulties for investors and boost market trading liquidity as the pandemic has caused severe losses for investors and wiped out billions of dollars from the market, the ministry said.

But the Vietnamese market still declined as a prolonged strong sell-off continued delivered a blow to local stocks.

On Monday, the number of decliners on the southern exchange outstripped gainers by 363 to 40 while 21 stocks ended flat.

Large-cap stocks were hit hard as the large-cap tracker VN30-Index plunged 6.06 per cent to close at 632.86 points.

A series of large-caps hit floor prices, including Hoa Phat Group (HPG), Vingroup (VIC), Sabeco (SAB), Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), FPT Corporation (FPT), PetroVietnam Gas JSC (GAS), Mobile World Group (MWG) and Vinhomes (VHM).

Banking stocks were also under great selling pressure such as Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID), Vietinbank (CTG), Military Bank (MBB), Vietcombank (VCB), VPBank (VPB), Techcombank (TCB) and HDBank (HDB).

“Due to the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic with more than 340,000 infections and almost 15,000 deaths, countries worldwide have issued blockage orders and immigration bans. This move hinders production and business activities of various enterprises in the world and leads to disruptions of global supply chains,” said Le Hoang Phuong, an expert at Bao Viet Securities Joint Stock Company.

“Accordingly, investors have become more concerned over the risk of a potential global financial crisis, triggering selling-off pressure on stock markets worldwide,” she said.

At market close Monday, Singapore’s Straits Time, Thailand’s Stock Exchange of Thailand, and Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite Index respectively dropped 7.33 per cent, 9.55 per cent, and 4.90 per cent.

In East Asia, Hongkong’s Hang Seng, China’s Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen, and South Korea’s KOSPI also lost, respectively by 4.86 per cent, 3.11 per cent, 4.52 per cent, and 5.34 per cent. — VNS

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