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Jan 01, 2020 / 20:15

Foreign players net buy Vietnam shares for 3rd straight year

More than half of the overseas inflow came via ETFs.

Foreign investors have been net buyers on the Vietnamese stock market for a third year in a row on bet of gains in one of the best performing economies in the world.

The overseas players offloaded net a total of 92 million shares listed on the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City stock exchanges, but net bought VND7.3 trillion (US$313.3 million), according to exchange data.

 Inside the HOSE headquarters in Ho Chi Minh City

On the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HOSE), home to the majority of large-caps, they net purchased VND6.7 trillion (US$287.55 million), down 84.5% from a year earlier. This is the third consecutive year they were net buyers on this bourse.

Vingroup (VIC) was the most sought-after blue-chip on this exchange with a net buying value of VND5.27 trillion (US$227 million), mostly via put-through transactions, while foreign investors net sold it in the previous five years with a combined value of VND21.6 trillion (US$927 million). South Korea’s SK Group in May signed a deal to buy US$1 billion worth of VIC shares in private placements.

The next most bought-in tickers were Vietnamese fund certificate E1VFVN30, Petrolimex (PLX), Vietcombank (VCB) and Masan (MSN).

On the opposite site, VietJet (VJC) was sold the most by foreign investors, followed by Vinhomes (VHM), Vinamilk (VNM), and HDBank (HDB).

Meanwhile, on the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX), they were net sellers for a third consecutive year, with VND776 billion (US$33.3 million), down 61% year-on-year.

On the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM), run by the HNX for public companies not listed yet, foreign investors net bought VND1.4 trillion (US$60 million).

According to financial website CafeF, Vietnam-focused ETFs saw net inflow of US$230 million in 2019. Market Vectors Vietnam ETF (VNM ETF) currently has the largest exposure to Vietnamese stocks, with NAV standing at US$440.7 million at end-2019. Vietnam-based VFMVN30 ETF was the runner-up with US$285.35 million, surpassing FTSE Vietnam ETF.

The benchmark VN-Index of the HOSE ended 2019 at 960.99 points, up 7.67% from the start of the year. The gauge dropped strongly in November briefly after surpassing the psychological threshold of 1,000. On the contrary, the HNX-Index slid 1.65%.  

Vietnam’s economy expanded 7.02% last year, the second year in a row above 7%, according to government statistics.