Vietnam index up nearly 3 pct as investors go bargain hunting


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Vietnam's benchmark VN Index ended nearly 3 percent higher on Friday, recouping some of its losses in the previous day on a dispute in the South China Sea between Vietnam and China that dragged the index to its biggest drop since October 2001.
Investors, especially funds and foreign institutional buyers, picked up plummeting but fundamentally good shares, resulting in strong bargain hunting in most blue-chips, analysts said.
VN Index's price-over-earning ratio (PE) is now the lowest among Southeast Asian countries at 12.16, far below the leading Philippines' benchmark with a PE of 20.09, Reuters data showed.
"The market has recovered, and margin call pressure has lessened, but a solid rebound depends on how the political situation turns out," said Doan Minh Quan, a manager at ACB Securities.
Top gainer PetroVietnam Gas, the country's largest listed firm, jumped 5.43 percent, its biggest gain since April last year, Reuters data showed.
Dairy product maker Vinamilk rose 4 percent while food producer Masan Group was up 3.45 percent.
Here is a snapshot of the VN Index at the close (0801 GMT).
 VN Index
 PREV. CLOSE   527.09  
 % CHANGE   2.92%
 LOW   522.7
 Change (%) 1-mnth   #N/A  
 Change (%) 3-mnth   -4.124
 Change (%) 1-year   #N/A
 52-week high   609.46
 52-week low    462.13



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