Vietnamese shares were mixed on February 19 on the two local exchanges, while the southern bourse rose after companies said they would allow bigger foreign ownership stakes.
The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange rose 0.3 percent on the HCM Stock Exchange, extending its gain of 1.3 percent for a second day. The southern index has risen 1.7 percent during this week.
Meanwhile, the HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange pulled back 0.2 percent to end at 77.81 points. The northern index has added 1.2 percent from the previous week.
The insurance sector and the banking sector helped boost the markets as BIDV Insurance Corporation (BIC) and Military Bank (MBB) surged 6.5 percent and 4 percent, respectively, after those two firms announced they would allow foreigners to win a larger percentage of their companies.
BIC decided to raise the foreign-owned stake in its shares from 21.5 percent to 49 percent while MBB will raise foreign ownership in its capital from 10 percent to 20 percent.
MBB was also the second most active stock on the two local markets with more than 19 million shares in trading.
Seafood producer Vinh Hoan Corporation (VHC) also jumped 5.4 percent after the company said it would allow foreign investors to increase their ownership in the firm from 32.5 percent to 100 percent beginning on February 21.
Plant grower Hoang Anh Gia Lai JSC (HAG) and its subsidiary HAGL Agricultural JSC (HNG) surged 6.4 percent and 6 percent, respectively, as investors swooped in after deep sell-offs.
HNG was the most active stock with nearly 42 million shares in trading and HAG ranked third in the most-active-stock chart with more than 15 million shares.
HAG had fallen 80 percent to a five-year low at 7,800 VND per share before the February 19 session, and HNG had dropped three-quarters to 8,300 VND per share since it was first listed last July.
On the opposite side, the property sector fell, led by the biggest firms such as Vingroup JSC (VIC), FLC Group (FLC) and Nam Long Investment Corporation (NLG), which dropped 2 percent, 1.4 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.
The reference mid-point rate for the central bank’s exchange trading band for February 19 was 21,900 VND for a US dollar, nearly unchanged compared to the previous day’s rate of 21,901 VND.
Local stock markets traded nearly 225 million shares worth 3.2 trillion VND, an increase of a quarter from the previous day’s trading value.