Vietnamese Stocks Advance Most in Asia on Policy Speculation

Vietnam’s stocks advanced the most among Asia’s largest equity markets on speculation the government will take steps to help companies cope with inflation and a slowing economy.

The VN Index jumped 3 percent to 447.16 at the close in Ho Chi Minh City, the biggest gain since May 21. The gauge rallied for a 10th day, the longest winning streak since Sept. 13, 2011. Bao Viet Holdings, the largest Vietnamese insurer, climbed 4.9 percent to 48,900 dong. Masan Group Corp. surged 4.8 percent to 110,000 dong.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung asked ministries and provinces to keep prices of essential goods and fuel stable before the Lunar New Year holiday to ensure inflation staying under control, according to a Jan. 7 statement on the Finance Ministry’s website. The government will take measures to address economic challenges in 2013, Dung said Jan. 1.

Confidence is “being supported by fundamental positive news such as recent government talks on measures to boost businesses this year,” Le Thi Hai Duong, brokerage manager at Hanoi-based BIDV Securities Co., said by phone today. “Most investors chose to buy stocks as it’s more profitable than putting their money in banks or gold these days. So, stocks may extend gains toward the Lunar New Year.”

Vietnam’s inflation rate slowed for the first time in four months in December, with consumer prices rising 6.81 percent from a year earlier after climbing 7.08 percent in November. The World Bank said on Dec. 5 that core inflation is “still very high.”

Gross domestic product rose 5.03 percent last year, down from 5.89 percent in 2011 and the least since 1999, the General Statistics Office said in Hanoi on Dec. 25.

— With assistance by Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen

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