The Ministry of Finance has approved a plan to reduce the fees for some types of securities-related services this week to support market members and investors badly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Chairman of the State Securities Commission Tran Van Dung, the move aims to stabilise investors’ psychology, soothe the roiled market and ensure social security amidst the pandemic.

“Under the plan, fees for four types of services on the derivative securities market at the Vietnam Securities Depository will be cut to a more reasonable level,” said Dung

“The commission will consider slashing prices for other services and ask for the ministry’s opinion where necessary to support investors and the market,” Dung said.

Due to the complicated movements of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vietnamese stock market has been in downfall with foreign investors bailing out.

On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, the VN-Index has tumbled 24.8 per cent over the last six weeks to hit its lowest level since June 2017.

Market sentiment remained weak despite the US Federal Reserve’s decision to cut its lending rate to near zero per cent on Sunday, MB Securities Co (MBS) said in a note.

Similar actions taken by other central banks were not enough to boost market sentiment.

Unpredictable developments of the coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 and its impact on the global economy and equity markets were weighing on investor sentiment, MBS said.

Recent declines proved investors were still panicked that the disease would last longer than expected and a global economic recession was likely, Thanh Cong Securities Co (TCSC) said in its report.

The Vietnamese market would continue to struggle in the short term until positive signs appeared in the fight against COVID-19, the company forecast.

Foreign investors had net sold a total of US$3.4 trillion (US$138 million) so far this year, according to KB Securities Company (KBSV).

Net foreign selling was attributed to worries about the downtrend of the global economy amid the spread of the COVID-19 disease.

Foreign capital has been flowing out of the Vietnamese market since the country returned from the Tet holiday on January 30.