Vietnam stocks at 16-month low, down 7 days in a row to 521.07

Mar 24, 2008. Vietnam shares fell for the seventh session in a row and closed at a 16-month low on Monday as recent government plans to buy stocks failed to boost investor confidence.

The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange lost 4.5 percent to close at 521.07 points, the lowest since Nov. 7, 2006, the month Vietnam won approval to join the World Trade Organization.

The index has fallen 20 percent in seven sessions. The Vietnam index is down 44 percent this year, making it the worst performing index in Asia.

Shares in a number of companies lost 5 percent, the maximum allowed by regulators, including Petrovietnam Fertilizer and Chemicals Co and Sacombank .

When the index was last trading at these levels in November 2006, there were fewer than 50 listings compared with 150 now.

A wave of listings and enthusiasm for capital markets development in late 2006 and early 2007 lifted shares to a life-high of 1,170.67 on March 12 last year.

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