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Vietnam's biggest bourse shuts stock trading for second day

[HANOI] Vietnam's main stock exchange, home to the nation's benchmark VN-Index, will remain shut for a second day on Wednesday following a malfunction.

Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange said while the technical issue that occurred on Monday has been solved, it needs to run tests with securities firms to ensure the "safety and accuracy" of the trading system.

The exchange operator didn't provide a timing for when trading will resume, according to the statement on its website. The market was expected to resume trading today.

Trading was halted for a full day on Tuesday after the malfunction happened in the last 30 minutes of the previous day's session and orders couldn't be matched.

The closure means stocks including those of Vietnam Dairy Products JSC, PetroVietnam Gas JSC and VietJet Aviation JSC are all unavailable to investors. The bourse averaged US$319 million worth of trading each day over the past month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

"There's more things happening in Vietnam than the exchange shutting for two days," said Ruchir Desai, a Hong Kong-based senior investment analyst at Asia Frontier Capital Ltd, which holds Vietnamese stocks.

"Most institutional investors in Vietnam have a long-term view on the country and the macro outlook is positive."

Vietnam opened its stock market in July 2000 with just two listed companies and now has a value of US$170 billion. The Southeast Asian nation was one of the world's fastest-growing economies last year at 6.8 per cent and started stock-index futures trading in August. 

Tuesday's halt didn't seem to dampen sentiment elsewhere in the market. The Hanoi Stock Exchange HNX Index was up as much 2.5 per cent to its highest level since October 2010, while the Unlisted Public Company Market rose 1.6 per cent.

The VN-Index is up 58 per cent in the past year, and has gained 10 per cent in 2018.

The Ho Chi Minh exchange has been working with Thailand's stock exchange to investigate the matter, State Securities Commission Chairman Tran Van Dung said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. The bourse experienced a malfunction in August that briefly affected data distribution.


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