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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  23 December 2014  

Energy sector pulls shares down
HA NOI  — Stock indexes tumbled last week, following concerns about oil prices on the global market. However, the highlight was that bottom-fishing made a come back as oil and gas shares rebounded.
The VN-Index declined strongly compared to the previous Friday's close, losing 5.6 per cent to 523.09 points, while the HNX-Index slid 3.8 per cent to 81.32 points.
Further, average trading values were VND2.55 trillion (US$119.7 million) and VND875.6 billion ($41.1 million), respectively, on the HCM City Stock Exchange and Ha Noi Stock Exchange.
On the global market, oil prices continued to hit new lows. Meanwhile, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries said its members would not reduce output, even as the price might fall to $40 per barrel, causing surpluses in supplies. Bao Viet Securities Company's analyst Tran Duc Anh believed that this would continue to be a factor to identify this week's trend.
The decrease in shares, such as PetroVietnam Gas (GAS), PetroVietnam Drilling Services (PVD), PetroVietnam General Services (PET), Petroleum Equipment Assembly and Metal (PXS), PetroVietnam Engineering Consultancy (PVE) and PetroVietnam Coating (PVB), has had adverse impacts on overall transactions, rapidly causing a fall in other shares.
However, the decline in energy stocks showed signs of leveling off last Wednesday, but could not help benchmark indexes due to massive sell-offs on mid-cap stocks. Oil and gas stocks then witnessed positive trading toward the end of the week, especially the largest companies, such as GAS and PVD.
Meanwhile, the overall market increased on Thursday, before falling again. During the following session, the market was partly affected by activities of exchange-traded funds on influential stocks, including Vietcombank (VCB), private equity group Masan (MSN), Pha Lai Thermalpower (PPC) and property developers Vingroup (VIC) and FLC Group (FLC).
Also last week, foreign investors sold a net of nearly VND548 billion ($25.7 million) on both exchanges.
According to FPT Securities, it is highly possible that the short-term trend is declining, with the nearest resistance of 513 points.
Investors are able to now buy shares, Duc Anh said, to serve medium- and long-term targets.
"Apart from the effects of oil prices, I see the economy is generally positive for stock trading," he added.
Additionally, last week the Asia Development Bank revised its outlook for Vietnamese economic growth in 2014 and 2015 by 1 per cent to 5.6 per cent and 5.8 per cent, respectively. 

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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