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ASEAN Ends Quarter Well

Shayne Heffernan

ASEAN stock markets held up well against a global slump in equities on Wednesday, at the end of the second quarter that consolidated gains in ASEAN which is very encouraging for investors considering international concerns over funding conditions for European banks and the pace of the global recovery.

Singapore’s Straits Times index made gains of 0.18 percent on Wednesday as the world markets crashed. It lost 2.19 percent and 2.14 percent in the second quarter and first half respectively, Southeast Asia’s worst performer but outperforming many of the world’s leading exchanges.

Growth rates in Singapore remain strong, Singapore Banks represent huge bargains for investors as the new financial new year begins.

Singapore-listed China Fishery (CNFG.SI), which catches and processes fish around the world, climbed 6.6 percent after it said on Tuesday that Carlyle Group, one of the world’s biggest private equity investors, would invest $190 million (S$266million) in it to expand business.

The Carlyle Group, with some $85 billion under management, is one of the world’s largest private investment firms. Undertakings include management-led buyouts, minority equity investments, real estate, venture capital, and leveraged finance opportunities in the energy and power, consumer and retail, and technology and business services industries. Other sectors it focuses on include financial services, health care, infrastructure, aerospace and defense, automotive, transportation, telecommunications, and media. Since its founding in 1987, The Carlyle Group has made some 900 investments; it maintains offices in some 20 countries and oversees more than 60 private equity, real estate, and leveraged buyout funds.

Indonesia also defied the worldwide slump in equities and rose 0.7 percent on the day. Its six-month gain of nearly 15 percent was the best in the region and one of the best in the world.

Indonesia’s Government has made strong inroads into financial and political reforms, the outlook in Indonesia remains strong and Investors have flooded in over the last 6 months and we expect that to improve in the second half of the year.

Indonesian lender PT Bank Agroniaga (AGRO.JK) surged 32 percent after second-largest lender PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BBRI.JK) said it would finalise the acquisition of Bank Agroniaga by August.

Thailand Stock Exchange was flat closing down just 0.22 percent in a very volatile session. Even after a quarter that containes international and local crisis the Stock Exchange of Thailand ended the quarter 1.2 percent higher showing just how much strength the economy has. Losers on the day were led by big cap energy and banks, with PTT (PTT.BK), the biggest energy firm, down 1.6 percent and top bank Bangkok Bank (BBL.BK) down 0.8 percent. Thailands big cap companies rate as some of the world’s best equity investments.

Ebeling Heffernan point to economic data showing exports continued to be strong in May, offsetting the effects of the political unrest. Malaysia slipped 0.4 percent and it had a minor quarterly loss of 0.5 percent. The Thai stock market is shut on Thursday for a mid-year holiday. The Philippines, closed on Wednesday, will resume trade on Thursday. It was the best performer in the second quarter, with a 6.7 percent gain.

Fears of a potential liquidity shortfall of more than 100 billion euros in the financial system as European banks repay 442 billion euros ($546 billion) in emergency loans, combined with a maajor fall in Chinese equities sparked the latest sell-off in equity markets. Risk reduction was further fuelled by a report that showed a slump in U.S. consumer confidence.


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