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ASEAN STOCK WATCH Asean Affairs 14 February 2013 

ASEAN Market Outlook

Tokyo climbed 1.94 percent, or 215.96 points, to 11,369.12, while Sydney closed flat, nudging down 0.5 points to 4,959.0 after peaking earlier in the day at a 34-month high.

Seoul, which was already flat after the North Korea reports, was off 0.26 percent, or 5.11 points, at 1,945.79.

Wellington ended flat, dipping 2.38 points to 4,218.12.

Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur were closed for public holidays.

– Manila closed flat, edging up 1.92 points to 6,459.93.

– Jakarta ended up 1.00 percent, or 45.00 points, to 4,548.24.

Astra International gained 0.65 percent to 7,750 rupiah, and Semen Indonesia jumped 1.83 percent to 16,700 rupiah.

– Bangkok fell 0.01 percent, or 0.16 points, to 1,488.95.

Telecoms company True Corp. dropped 6.29 percent to 6.70 baht, while department store operator Central Pattana added 4.65 percent to 90 baht.

– Mumbai rose 0.52 percent, or 100.47 points, to 19,561.04 points.

Energy explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) rose 3.81 percent to 320.15 rupees while vehicle maker Tata Motors rose 2.65 percent to 298.3 rupees.


The local stock index closed above 6,500 for the first time on Wednesday as cash-awashed investors chased yields and bet on the country’s good macroeconomic prospects.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index surged by 68.06 points or 1.05 percent to finish at 6,527.99.

“Everyone is in love with the Philippine market,” said Astro del Castillo, managing director at investment management firm First Grade Finance Inc.

“The PSEi almost seems impervious to market corrections.  The formidable macro backdrop, highlighted by the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) in its economic briefing (Wednesday morning), is likely to keep valuations elevated longer than so far assumed,” said Mark Angeles, head of research at First Metro Securities.

Stock dealers said this continued to be a liquidity-driven rally as investors continued to gobble up stocks in a low-interest rate environment.  This is amid rosy prospects for corporate Philippines as well as the macroeconomic backdrop this 2013.

This run-up fulfilled albeit a few days late the birthday wish expressed by President Benigno Aquino III during his Switzerland visit: that the PSEi hits 6,500 by his birthday (Feb. 8).

Firmer overseas markets also supported risk-taking at the local market even as many Asian investors were still on holiday due to the Lunar Year turnover break.

ALI (+4.58 percent) led the day’s upswing after beating consensus profit forecasts for 2012.  ALI grew 2012 net profit by 27 percent to a record high P9.0.

Megaworld, BPI, URC, MPI, ICTSI, SMDC, Semirara, Metrobank and Petron also contributed significant gains to the PSEi.

On the other hand, the day’s laggers were RLC, AGI, Aboitiz Power and Belle. RLC announced a modest 3-percent increase in October to December net profit, the first quarter in its fiscal year ending September.

Value turnover amounted to P8.28 billion.  There were 112 advancers that overwhelmed 52 decliners while 50 stocks were unchanged.

Meanwhile, the PSE unveiled plans to enhance its online disclosure system used by listed companies to better serve investors.


State-owned energy company Pertamina expects its profit will increase by more than 10 percent this year, backed by improvements in efficiency and corporate governance.

The Jakarta-based company forecast net income up 11 percent to $3.05 billion in 2013 from the year before. Karen Agustiawan, the president director of the company, said Pertamina was aiming to reduce all of its costs.

Revenue at Pertamina is expected to drop 8 percent to $65.2 billion this year, Karen noted, in line with a downswing in Indonesian crude oil prices.

Pertamina initially intended its total costs to stand at around $54.98 billion last year, and Karen noted that “we are targeting for our direct and operating cost to be cut to $59.63 billion this year from last year’s realization of $66.16 billion.”

She added that the price of Indonesian crude would hover at around $100 per barrel this year, which would be significantly less than last year’s average price of $113 per barrel .

Pertamina paid Rp 66.6 trillion ($6.9 billion) in taxes and dividends to the government last year. The company booked revenue of $70.9 billion last year, higher than its original estimate of $59.9 billion.

With its assets totaling more than $43.4 billion, Pertamina said that its net income increased 19 percent to $2.76 billion last year.

Karen said on Monday that the company beat its original profit forecast of $2.67 billion, due partly to higher-than-expected revenue. Pertamina has yet to officially release its 2012 income statement.

The company is aiming to produce 244,000 barrels of oil per day this year, a 20 percent increase on last year’s figure.


Gains in banking stocks Public Bank and CIMB helped Malaysia blue chips close higher on Wednesday, the first trading day after the Chinese New Year holidays.

At the close, the FBM KLCI was up 7.36 points or 0.45% to 1,631.16. Turnover was relatively thin with 58.96 million shares valued at RM1.10bil. There were 376 gainers, 209 losers and 247 counters unchanged.

Among the key regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.04% as the yen advanced, triggering profit taking on exporters. However, South Korea's Kospi gained 1.56% to 1,976.07 and Singapore's Straits Times Index added 0.93% to 3,300.87.

At Bursa Malaysia, Public Bank rose 12 sen to RM15.98, the highest since Jan 21 and gave the KLCI the 1.30 points while CIMB gained six sen to RM7.24, nudging the index up 1.03 points.

HDBS added 19 sen to RM3.98 on a news report about the sale of HwangDBS Investment Bank.

Petronas Chemicals gained 11 sen to RM6.11, Genting Bhd six sen to RM9.73 and Axiata four sen to RM6.30.

Among the consumer stocks, Carlsberg rose 42 sen to RM12.48, BAT 40 sen to RM58.40 and Nestle 20 sen to RM59.76 but F&N fell eight sen to RM17.92.

Crude palm oil futures for third-month delivery fell RM48 to RM2,512. Howeverm KL Kepong rose 38 sen to RM21.68 and IOI Corp five sen to RM4.90 while FGV gained two sen to RM4.52.

SP Setia ended the day 23 sen higher to RM3.49 as investors were positive on its placement of 320.7 million new shares to raise RM942.90mil.

MRCB added three sen to RM1.29. UOB Kay Hian Malaysia Research said although the acquisition of Gapurna was pricey and could be earnings per share dilutive in the short term, MRCB would benefit in the longer term.

Tasek-PA was the top loser, down 18 sen to RM13.82, Top Glove eight sen to RM5.42 and OCB 7.5 sen to 52.5 sen while MPHB lost seven sen to RM3.24.

US light crude oil rose 12 sen to US$97.63 while Brfent added 11 cents to US$118.77. Spot gold fell RM4.22 to US$1,647.10.


Stocks in Singapore rose 0.94 per cent on Wednesday to close at five-year highs.

The Straits Times Index rose 30.74 points to end at 3301.04. The close was the highest since January 10, 2008.

On the broader market, gainers outpaced losers by 368 to 140.

Volume totalled 8.22 billion shares valued at S$1.76 million.

United Overseas Bank gained 1.89 per cent to S$19.40, Singapore Telecom increased 0.84 per cent to S$3.60, Singapore Airlines slipped 2.2 per cent to S$10.83, while ComfortDelGro slipped 0.3 per cent to S$1.90.

Shayne Heffernan Ph.D.
Economist/Hedge Fund Manager

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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