Vietnamese Stocks Rise to 27-Month High on Economic Outlook

Vietnam’s stocks rose, driving the benchmark index to a 27-month high, after the government said the economy improved and foreign direct investment increased.

The Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange’s VN Index advanced 2.4 percent to 512.41 as of the 2:15 p.m. local-time close, the highest level since Feb. 16 2011. Vietnam Dairy Products Joint-Stock Co., the second-biggest publicly traded company by market value, surged 2.3 percent to a record. Bao Viet Holdings, an insurance company, climbed 1 percent.

The nation’s macroeconomic situation is improving as companies’ inventories decline and direct foreign investment increases, Vu Duc Dam, chairman of the government office, said at a briefing in Hanoi yesterday. The VN Index has climbed 9.4 percent from a six-week low on April 22 as the central bank cut interest rates and as the government took steps to resolve banks’ bad loans.

“Most of the news out recently is very positive for the market,” Pham Ngoc Bich, managing director of institutional sales at Saigon Securities Inc., said by phone today from Ho Chi Minh City. “Investor optimism” is continuing after Dam’s comments, he said.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung approved the formation of an asset-management company to acquire non-performing loans from the nation’s lenders, the central bank said on May 21. The State Bank of Vietnam cut interest rates on May 13, the eighth reduction since the start of 2012.

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