Vietnam index loses 1.2 pct on widespread selling


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Vietnam index loses 1.2 pct on widespread selling
Vietnam's benchmark VN Index dropped 1.24 percent to a one-week low close on Friday, as investors cut their risk exposures ahead of a central bank ruling that will limit banks' loan for stock investments.
Banks led falls in more than half of the equities on the last trading day before the central bank's circular capping loans for investment in shares at 5 percent of a bank's registered capital comes into effect on Feb. 1, analysts said.
The index closed at 576.07 points on Friday, the lowest since Jan. 22, based on Reuters data.
Hanoi-based Vietcombank, Vietnam's top bank by market value, lost 3.25 percent, and lender BIDV dropped 3.85 percent, offsetting strong rallies in the sector earlier this month.
Other big-caps also fell, including PetroVietNam Gas , the country's biggest firm by capitalisation, with a 0.65-percent decline, and dairy product maker Vinamilk that lost 0.95 percent.
The index has advanced nearly 10 percent this month as investors bet on firms with expected profits, and on hopes of a possible delay for the circular as experts were concerned that it will hit the stock market in the short term.
Against market expectations, the central bank has made no announcements on any changes, and analysts expected falls may extend to next week.
Here is a snapshot of the VN Index at the close (0801 GMT). 
VN Index
PREV. CLOSE 583.28
% CHANGE -1.24%
LOW 574.46
Change (%) 1-mnth 9.499
Change (%) 3-mnth -1.34
Change (%) 1-year 4.809
52-week high 644.56
52-week low 508.51
($1=21,320 dong)

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