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Vietnam Stock Market Overloaded by Surge of New Investors

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HANOI, Jan 6 Reuters Vietnams benchmark stock exchange is struggling to keep up with a large influx of local investors looking to move cash away from savings accounts which are offering declining interest rates, sources and stock market analysts said.

Vietnam, the regions small frontier market, has seen a fourfold jump in share trading volumes in December as the benchmark VNIndex surpassed the 1,000point mark, a threshold it struggled to cross over the last two years.

The index has jumped 23 since the start of November.

The exchange has intentionally halted trading from 1400 2 pm since lateDecember last year for fear that the system would crash due to a sudden surge of orders, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The system has backup capacity, however, if it crashes, two trading sessions is the least amount of time needed to fix the problem, not to mention it would harm Vietnams opportunity to be upgraded in FTSEs September assessment, the source said.

A total of 2.8 million trading accounts were registered last year, up 17 from 2019, which the government said was a record, with individual investors the driving force.

I can hardly place any orders in the afternoon session, which is very frustrating, said Nguyen Hoang Nam, a former photographer who turned to securities after having lost his job due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Nam said he was still pleased as his account had recorded a massive gain over the last eight months….

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