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VAM: Vietnam Market Analysis- August 2012

Markets declined in August
In August, the market’s ascent topped above the 437 level, but on the 21st of the month the market began a six trading day descent to a low of 385.78. After making a slight correction in the final days of the month, the VN-index closed at 396.02, losing 4.5% over the month. The Hanoi exchange faired significantly worse, closing the month at 61.43, to lose 11.2%, while the VN30 gave up 5.4% to close at 465.29.
Markets reacted to news and rumors, presenting some good buying opportunities
Upsetting market activity this month was the arrest of a key figure in the banking system and Vietnam football, for alleged illegal business activities in his 3 private companies. Days later, the arrest of ACB’s CEO for “economic violations” caused the SBV to add VND 23.31 trillion in liquidity to the banking sector to support the market and help ACB as its customers rushed to withdraw funds. Rumors of Masan Group’s Chairman’s arrest, while unfounded, added to the turmoil the market was undergoing as investors wondered who’s next and what are the repercussions. Also adding to market jitters was talk of a 3rd petroleum price hike of the month, for a total increase of 15% in 40 days. As sellers outnumbered buyers, the market lost USD 3.85 billion in 3 days, providing a buying opportunity which foreign investors rushed to take advantage of. 
Credit growth to remain at 6-8% for 2012, notwithstanding ceiling increased for some
23 of the nation’s 62 credit institutions applied to have credit growth ceilings increased, of which 10 were approved. The increased target encourages banks to spur lending to struggling enterprises dealing with high inventories and low demand. Considering growth in the first 8 months is a meagre 2%, the entire banking sector credit growth is expected to remain at 6-8% for 2012, according to the Central bank.
Deflation fears allayed as Inflation rises
Having recorded two consecutive month of negative inflation, deflation was concerning to some. In August however, CPI rose 0.63%, contributed by petroleum price hikes, along with increases in healthcare and pharmaceutical items, which registered the largest increase of 5.44% MoM. Despite August’s increase, inflation continues to slow from its peak of 23% in 2011 to 5.04% YoY.
Trade balance reflects increased demand
Reflecting increasing demand, internal and external, the positive trade balance once again turned negative for the first time in 3 months. August’s trade deficit of USD150million, combined with an average monthly export revenue increase of 17.8% YoY for the January to August period, suggests that easing of monetary policy may be reversing domestic contraction. At the same time though, an ICAEW report forecasts GDP growth for 2012 to be only 5.1%.
FDI disbursement level paces 2011’s levels
Vietnam attracted 66.1% of total 2011 FDI, for a total of USD 8.47 billion in the first 8 months of the year.  While overall attraction had declined, FDI disbursed reached USD 7.28 billion, totaling 99.7% of 2011’s disbursed FDI. Strong FDI disbursements have bolstered the FX reserves to nearly USD 20 billion and contributed to S&P’s upgraded economic outlook and Fitch Ratings’ affirmed B+ status of the dong.
Our ViewWhile the circulated rumors, both founded and unfounded, created some turmoil in the market, investor reaction was more sentiment driven rather than fundamentals driven, and as such, a buying opportunity was presented. The chain of events in August suggests that uncertainty still remains; however, we can get comfort that given some of the encouraging economic signs lately, it is probably that the eased monetary policies have begun to stimulate domestic demand. We continue to shy away from property and related sectors but are selectively adding stocks in basic industries such as Materials, Utilities and Consumers.

Source: VAM Vietnam Asset Management, 20.09.2012

Filed under: News, Risk Management, Services, Vietnam, Wealth Management, , , , , ,

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