STOCKS NEWS VIETNAM-Index gains as investors seek bargains

The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange's VN Index rose by midday as some investors sought bargains in several shares based on solid corporate earnings, while others waited for positive macro news, stock brokers said.

The index gained 0.86 percent to 391.48 points by 0430 GMT.

"Shares rose as a group of investors hunted bargains selectively in firms with solid quarterly earnings, including Vinamilk and Petrovietnam Fertilizer and Chemicals Corp ," said Doan Tran Phuong Phi, head broker at Ho Chi Minh City Securities.

Low volumes showed supply has thinned, while valuations have become relatively cheap after recent falls, he said.

"However, it would be difficult for the market to see positive developments in the fourth quarter as concerns over bad debt in the banking system still weigh," Phi said.

Investors, who have been using the Hanoi market's HNX Index

to determine market lows, were expecting stocks to trade around the low levels in the near term, said Chau Thien Truc Quynh, head of retail brokerage at Viet Capital Securities.

"Many investors are waiting for positive signals from the macro economy and fresh news from the National Assembly's upcoming session as well as the ongoing Central Committee's plenum," Quynh said.

1210 (0510 GMT)

(Reporting by Vu Duy; Editing by Ho Binh Minh)

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