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ASEAN STOCK WATCH Asean Affairs   11 January 2011

ASEAN to Open Lower, May Rally

Shayne Heffernan

ASEAN will open lower today, but will be helped by positive results at Alcoa NYSE:AA over night.

US stocks lost ground on Monday, with the Dow and S&P 500 heading for a third straight session of losses, as a once-buoyant market sagged at the start of the earnings season.

The euro zone debt crisis weighed on Wall Street sentiment, stealing the spotlight from merger activity in the United States and financial results for the fourth quarter.

Best buys today are Golden Agri, Tiger Airways, PTT, Genting, UOB In Bangkok the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) composite index on Monday plunged 18.42 points or 1.78 per cent to close at 1,018.03 points. The market value was 46.11 billion baht, with 4.37 billion shares traded.

Top five most active values were as follows;

SCB closed at 99.50 baht, down by 3.00 or 2.93 per cent.

TRUE closed at 6.90 baht, up by 0.60 or 9.52 per cent.

PTT closed at 318.00 baht, down by 4.00 or 1.24 per cent.

IVL closed at 48.25 baht, down by 4.25 or 8.10 per cent.

TOP closed at 71.75 baht, down by -1.50 or 2.05 per cent.

In Singapore shares closed lower on Monday, with the benchmark Straits Times Index at 3,229.27, down 0.98 per cent, or 32.08 points.

About 2.1 billion shares exchanged hands.

Losers beat gainers 335 to 188.

In Kuala Lumpur the Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) closed lower today by 8.69 points to 1,563.52.

There were 427 counters up, 478 down and 233 remained unchanged.

Total volume of shares trade was at 2.2 billions while turnover was at RM2.8bil.

The top three gainers were TSRCAP which increased by 41 sen to RM1.37 sen, Ekovest climbed 40 sen to RM3.36 and TRC-WA added 23 sen to 88 sen.

For the heavyweights, Plus Expressways rose 8 sen to RM4.69, Petronas Gas increased 4 sen RM11.32 sen, CIMB Group lost 10 sen to RM8.83 and Public bank slid 12 sen to RM13.42.

In Manila the Philippine Stock Exchange index shed 89.94 points, or 2.14 percent, to 4,112.58. This was its worst sell-off seen this new year.

The index was weighed down by the financial, holding firms and industrial counters, which tumbled 3.3 percent, 2.9 percent and 1.57 percent.

Value turnover stood at P4.37 billion. Risk aversion among foreign investors was high as indicated by a P661 million in net foreign selling for the day.

Dealers said the market's sluggish performance was in line with the bearish sentiment across regional markets on Monday. Apart from the disappointing US jobs report, financial markets were discounting potential interest rate increases in China, India and Indonesia as concerns have shifted from currency appreciation to rising inflation.

First Metro Investment Corp. vice president Eduardo Banaag Jr. added that many funds were lightening their equity position to lock in sharp gains made last year. But overall trend for the year is still bullish on equities, Banaag said.

There were 61 advancers as against 84 decliners at the local market while 37 stocks were unchanged.

In Jakarta the JCI has fallen 7.9 percent over the past three trading days, leading to its lowest close in two months.

Bank Central Asia, the nation’s largest lender by market value, sank 7 percent, while Indosat, the country’s No. 2 telephone company, fell 7.5 percent.

The rupiah also continued to lose steam and was near its weakest level in three weeks.

With high prices being singled out as a priority concern at a cabinet meeting on Monday and analysts growing increasingly nervous, Morgan Stanley said in a note the central bank might hike its benchmark interest rate by 100 basis points starting in February to curb inflation.

December inflation accelerated to 6.96 percent from a year ago compared with the central bank’s rate of 6.5 percent.

“People expect the real interest rate to stay positive and they’re not seeing this here,” said Fadlul Imansyah, from CIMB Principal Asset Management.

If the difference between inflation and the benchmark interest rate “is negative, that may prompt investors to leave the market for a while,” he added.

The JCI climbed 46 percent last year with Bank Indonesia keeping its benchmark rate at a record low for 17 consecutive months in order to boost the economy.?


Shayne Heffernan brings more than 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over US$500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of US$15billion. He has managed and overseen start-ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

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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