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ASEAN STOCK WATCH Asean Affairs  31 January 2014 


Indonesia has approved plans for initial public offerings for two state-owned plantation firms this year, Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said on Thursday.

The firms are PT Perkebunan Nusantara V (PTPN 5) and PT Perkebunan Nusantara VII (PTPN 7), which produce commodities including sugar, palm oil and rubber.

The planned IPOs will not happen before the formation a holding company for the plantation firms, part of the State-Owned Enterprise Ministry's grand strategy, Rajasa told reporters.

Last November, PTPN 7 said it aimed to sell a 30 percent stake via an initial public offering, worth up to 2 trillion rupiah ($164.41 million) in the second half of this year.


Thailand Futures Exchange improves SET50 futures contract size in May

Bangkok, Jan 31, 2014 – The Thailand Futures Exchange PCL (TFEX), under The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) group, announced that it will modify its SET50 futures contract to have a smaller contract size on May 6, 2014. The new size of SET50 futures will increase liquidity to the product and reduce the capital outlay, enabling more investors to participate.

TFEX is continually improving its products to better serve investor needs, TFEX Managing Director Kesara Manchusree said. Since TFEX started trading SET50 futures in April 2006, SET50 Index had been at its lowest at around 300 points. The Index has dramatically increased over time, reaching its highest point last year at 1,092.27, so the SET50 futures notional value increases more than 3 times. Also, SET50 Index fluctuation means that investors need to deposit higher margins in order to trade. The new SET50 futures, or mini-SET50 futures, will have a contract size that is one-fifth that of the existing product. The contract multiplier will be reduced from THB 1,000 per index point to THB 200 per index point, resulting in a drop in size to about THB 200,000. Initial margins and exchange fees will be reduced by the same proportion”, Kesara added.

TFEX, Thai Clearing House, and TFEX members are preparing to launch mini-SET50 futures on the same day as the launch of new derivatives trading system.
Derivatives markets in United States and Asia, eg. India, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, also reduce their contract sizes when their indices double, normally to one-fifth, but in some markets, contracts were reduced to half or one-tenth of their former size. Mini-SET50 futures will also become the same size as SET50 options. Therefore, investors can develop strategies using SET50 futures and options, together with other products based on SET50 Index components as their underlying assets more easily.

Trading Summary

As of  31 January 2014         Unit: M.Baht
Type                         Buy                    Sell             Net        
Institution           5,123.15             2,139.11       2,984.04     
Proprietary          1,714.04             2,394.64        -680.60     
Foreign               7,144.62             9,520.03      -2,375.41     
Individual            7,585.69             7,513.72           71.97     
Total Trading Value     21,567.49 M.Baht     


Thai stocks rose on Friday as month-end buying lifted large caps such as PTT Pcl   and  Siam Cement Pcl , but trading volumes dropped due to
holidays in the region and caution ahead of the Sunday election.

The SET index   finished up 0.8 percent, its first gain in five sessions, led by index heavyweights such as PTT.

Shares in Siam Cement rose 1 percent after it reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.
 In its latest strategy report, UBS Securities (Thailand)recommended investors to accumulate stocks on any weakness post elections.
The benchmark fell for a third month in January, down 1.9 percent and taking its loss since November to around 12 percent, the region's worst performer, hit by the prolonged domestic political turmoil.

Trading volumes on Friday almost halved the full-day average over the past 30 sessions, with players wary of the political risks and analysts said the Feb. 2 poll may not solve the current deadlock.
All other Southeast Asian stock markets were closed on Friday for the Lunar New Year holiday, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.


 Market                         Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*        377.77         377.00           +0.20
 Bangkok                     1274.28        1264.07           +0.81


Nikkei falls, most Asia markets shut for holidays

Japan's Nikkei stock index fell Friday as the yen strengthened, but the handful of other Asian markets open during Lunar New Year holidays gained after U.S. corporate earnings continued to exceed expectations.

Financial markets are closed in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Among stock markets not observing the holiday, India's Sensex gained less than 0.1 percent to 20,504.69 and Thailand's SET was up 0.4 percent at 1,269.19. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added less than 0.1 percent to 5,190 and New Zealand's benchmark gained 0.5 percent to 5,258.40.

Japan's Nikkei 225 reversed early gains that were sparked by the government reporting increases in inflation and factory output. Inflation is a possible sign of economic recovery in Japan, which has been plagued by falling prices during two decades of stagnation.

But a rise in the yen against the U.S. dollar was negative for exporting stocks, dragging the Nikkei down 0.6 percent to 14,914.53.

Better-than-expected U.S. earnings encouraged some investors to buy more stocks, IG strategist Stan Shamu said in a market commentary.

Facebook stock posted double digit gains because of its quarterly profit report, which boosted other technology stocks.

Shamu said about half of the companies in the S&P 500 index have reported earnings so far with most beating expectations for revenue and earnings per share.

U.S. stocks rose sharply Thursday as investors cheered the strong earnings and data that showed the U.S. economy grew at a robust annual rate of 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter.

The S&P 500 rose 19.99 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,794.19. The Nasdaq composite jumped 71.69 points, or 1.8 percent, to 4,123.13 and the Dow Jones industrial average rose 109.82 points, or 0.7 percent, to 15,848.61.

Benchmark U.S crude for March delivery was down 32 cents at $97.91 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 87 cents to finish Thursday at $98.23, boosted by the GDP report.

In currencies, the euro slipped to $1.3549 from $1.3577 late Thursday. The dollar fell to 102.45 yen from 102.78 yen.

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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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