VN-Index regains top performing spot in Asia thanks to foreign investors

Just a few short weeks after a global equity selloff caused Vietnam to lose its crown as Asia’s best-performing market so far this year, the country is back on top. These gains may extend, helping the VN-Index surpass its March 2007 peak, as the gauge is forecast to reach 1,210 by the end of 2018, according to a survey of 10 strategists by Bloomberg. RongViet Securities Corporation in Saigon said in a report that the VN-Index will increase by at least 17 percent this year, and even 67 percent in its best scenario, meaning it could end the year somewhere between 1,170 and 1,640. Nguyen The Minh, a senior analyst at Saigon Securities Incorporation, was more reserved. “The VN-Index could reach 1,050 points in the short term, and 1,300 by year-end,” he said. Foreigners have been net buyers of the country’s shares this month, even as they pulled a combined $14 billion from nine Asian markets tracked by Bloomberg. “Earnings growth is expected to be better, at around 20 to 25 percent, and not just with the listed companies but also at newly-listed ones,” Bloomberg quoted Thang Uong, who oversees a $1 billion portfolio at Manulife Asset Management (Vietnam) Co. in Ho Chi Minh City, as saying. “We are very bullish this year.” A swift reversal since Feb. 12 has sent the gauge above levels reached before the selloff, making the nation’s shares more expensive relative to their regional peers. The VN-Index trades at about 20 times 12-month projected earnings,… [Read full story]

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