Vietnam’s main stock exchange, home to the nation’s benchmark VN Index, remained shut for a second day yesterday following a malfunction, its longest halt in nearly 10 years.
The Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange said that 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 closure means stocks — including those of Vietnam Dairy Products JSC, PetroVietnam Gas JSC and VietJet Aviation JSC — are unavailable to investors. The bourse averaged US$319 million worth of daily transactions over the past month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The exchange operator did not provide a timing for when trading would restart, according to the statement on its Web site.
It is the longest halt since a three-day shutdown in May 2008 because of a computer glitch, and one that could hurt the market, especially in the eyes of overseas investors, said Tyler Cheung, head of the institutional client division at ACB Securities JSC in Ho Chi Minh City.
“Being shut for multiple days will start to have an effect on market sentiment, especially from the offshore foreign investors who have recently joined or are planning on joining the market,” he said. “What we are hoping to hear is clarity from the exchange on what the causes are, when we can expect trading to resume and that the issues have been resolved.”
Markets in Asia have seen several trading halts recently. Indonesia’s stock exchange suffered two disruptions within 10 days in July last year. That same month, India’s biggest bourse suffered a three-hour halt, its longest ever. Singapore Exchange was rebuked by its regulator after trading was shut early in July 2016 because of a technical malfunction, and after it failed to follow through on two pledges to reopen.
In Vietnam, the extended halt did not dampen sentiment elsewhere in the market. The Hanoi Stock Exchange HNX Index was up 1.1 percent yesterday to its highest level since September 2010, while the Unlisted Public Company Market rose 0.7 percent.
The VN Index was one of the 10 best-performing national gauges in the world last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and has gained 10 percent this year to stay among the top indices.
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