ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Asean Markets to Tade Lower Today
In Singapore The Straits Times Index recovered from late-morning lows to end the session with a net 12.39-point gain to 2,979.38 – its highest close in three months. This came on the heels of a one per cent rise by the Dow and a 1.2 per cent gain on Nasdaq overnight.
Sentiment here was also boosted somewhat by overnight data from the US showing new home sales rising an impressive 24 per cent in June from May. There is also optimism that US durable goods orders – the numbers are due out on Wednesday – have also gained.
Situational stocks hogged the limelight yesterday, led by Singapore Airlines which rose 26 cents to $15.02 after it reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings of $252.5 million. Most houses have ‘buy’ or ‘outperform’ calls on the stock, with 12-month targets ranging from Daiwa’s $15.20 to Macquarie’s $19.30.
‘Advance bookings continue to indicate the year-on-year recovery in passengers carried and yields will hold up for the rest of 2010,’ said Deutsche Bank. ‘Management also thinks the recent resurgence in air freight is likely to be sustained in the near term, although the rate of growth may abate.’
Another stock in the limelight was Fraser & Neave, which gained seven cents to $5.74 after news that Temasek Holdings had sold its 14.7 per cent stake in the company to Japan’s Kirin at $6.50 a share.
Industry insiders suggested Kirin could accumulate more shares to cross the 20 per cent threshold that would allow it to equity-account F&N in its P&L account. Asia Pacific Breweries, which is a subsidiary of F&N, gained 24 cents yesterday to $14.70.
Informatics Education was also in play after former super-broker Peter Lim bought 26 million shares, raising his stake to 6.48 per cent, from 4.4 per cent.
Meanwhile, Parkway Holdings climbed five cents to a new high at $3.93 after India’s Fortis group accepted Khazanah’s improved partial offer of $3.95 a share, though some brokers reckon the deal could remove further catalysts for price gains. ‘While Parkway’s fundamentals remain intact, we see limited catalysts, with liquidity significantly reduced, upon successful completion of the deal,’ Credit Suisse said in a report yesterday, putting a target price of $3.75 on the stock.
Going forward, insiders are cautiously optimistic that Asian equity markets will gradually gather momentum going into the second half. Indeed, most technical readings suggest STI could break key resistance at 3,000 if the current momentum remains intact.
Indonesia’s Jakarta Stock Index climbed to a record on Wednesday, as investors bought banks and consumer stocks, attracted by the prospect of it joining China and Brazil as an investment grade emerging market.
The stock market is Asia’s best major performer this year with a 19 percent rally, fuelled by domestic investors and net foreign buying of $1.07 billion, as funds chase one of Asia’s brightest medium-term economic growth prospects.
Throw in political stability, an improved fiscal position and efforts to implement market-friendly reforms, and foreign investment in local debt also hit a record this month as bondholders eye further ratings upgrades to investment grade.
PT Elnusa, an Indonesian oil services company, dropped 1.4 percent to Rp 350. PT Benakat Petroleum Energy, an oil producer, declined 0.9 percent to Rp 107. PT International Nickel Indonesia, or Inco Indonesia as the nation’s biggest producer of the metal is known, slipped 1.2 percent to Rp 4,075. Nickel futures declined 1.2 percent to $20,545 a metric ton in London yesterday, the first drop in six days.
Exchange to Attract Foriegn Investors
Indonesia Stock Exchange plans to woo foreign firms, in particular Australian miners, to list in Jakarta, by easing its listing regulations soon, a director said on Wednesday. The move could encourage a wide range of foreign companies to list their Indonesian units in Jakarta .JKSE, making it easier for them to raise capital for expansion in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy while broadening the market’s appeal to portfolio investors.
“We are preparing a new regulation to make it easier for foreign companies to list here. We hope it will be issued soon,” said Wan Wei Yiong, a director of the exchange. “There are some foreign companies interested in listing here, from Malaysia, and mining firms from Australia” he added.
CIMB Group Holdings Berhad (CIMB.KL), the Malaysian financial services group which controls Indonesian lender CIMB Niaga (BNGA.JK), in May said that it would seek a listing in Indonesia once the rules allowed it to do so.
Ito Warsito, president director of the exchange, told Reuters in an interview last year that he wanted to encourage foreign resources firms to list their local units as part of the exchange’s goal of increasing total market capitalisation.
Warsito said at the time he would encourage U.S. mining giants Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX.N) and Newmont Mining Corp (NEM.N) to list their Indonesian units, which he estimated would be worth billions of dollars.
Indonesia has some of the world’s largest deposits of gold, nickel, tin, coal and copper, but foreign involvement in the natural resources sector has become a sensitive political issue, with calls for foreign firms to sell stakes to the government.
Freeport, which operates the huge Grasberg copper and gold mine in Papua, eastern Indonesia, has come under attack in the past, while Newmont has had to reduce its stake in an Indonesian unit.
The Malaysia stock market ended higher on Wednesday.
The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) was at 1,355.19 up 2.96 points or 0.22 percent, and the Emas was at 9,178.37 up 23.80 points or 0.25 percent. Turnover increased to 847.16 million shares valued at 1.25 billion ringgit Malaysia(393.08 million U.S. dollars).
Penang-based Ivory Properties Group Bhd, which made a strong debut on Bursa Malaysia this morning, hopes to expand its operations to Kuala Lumpur in the near future, says company chairman and group chief executive officer Datuk Low Eng Hock.
“Our company’s strength lies in enhancing land value and maximising its return. We have been doing this in Penang for the past 10 years, and hopefully with the success of this listing we may secure deals with landowners in Kuala Lumpur soon ,” said Low.
The company made a strong debut on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd yesterday, posting a 15 sen premium over its offer price of RM 1.00. As of 3.20pm, the stock was trading at RM1.32 on top volume.
Ivory is the first property developer to be listed on the Main Market this year.
Foreign funds were net buyers of Malaysian equities in June.
Statistics from Emerging Portfolio Fund Research (EPFR) revealed a decent net inflow of US$169mil, which reduced the year to date net selling by more than half.
This is the first time since Nov 2009 that foreigners are net buyers. The net inflow in June is the highest since October 2009 and wipes out the total net outflow for the first quarter of 2010. CIMB Research said that net value rose 6% to US$5.72bil as Malaysia had a good month in June, during which the KLCI gained 2.3%. The country’s US$169mil net inflow in June was similar to those seen by its regional peers such as Thailand (US$202mil), Indonesia (US$162mil) and Singapore (US$87mil). Only Hong Kong suffered an outflow to the tune of US$277mil. In the region, Malaysia has still been sold down the most in the past 2 years.
Since the 8 Mar 08 general elections, which triggered a big selloff by foreign funds, foreign funds have sold down 37% of their holdings compared with up to only 22% for other regional markets. Malaysia’s weighting in EM Asia has shrunk more than any other country in the region, from nearly 4% before Feb 08 to 2.4%
The Philippine market finished 0.44 percent higher on Wednesday.
The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index was up by 15.46 points to 2,198.78, while the broader all-share index rose by 0.78 percent or 17.02 points to 2,198.78. Trading volume reached 1.41 billion shares worth 3.52 billion pesos (76.68 million U.S. dollars) with 70 stocks advancing, 56 declining and 39 unchanged.
Vietnam's stock market index, the VN-Index, closed at 491 points on Wednesday, down 6.67 points, or 1.34 percent, against the previous trading day. A total of 46.86 million shares worth 1.38 trillion Vietnamese dong (VND) (72.37 million U.S. dollars) changed hands at the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) composite index went up 0.33 points or 0.04% to close at 854.01 points at the end of trading session on Wednesday morning. The trade value was 20.24 billion baht.
TPS Spark, a local maker of automotive batteries, has targeted sales of 250,000 units this year in the domestic replacement and export markets, a two-thirds increase from last year. Its latest battery, which debuted early last year, has performed well despite a slump in the automotive industry triggered by the global financial crisis, as it received a good response from dealers and customers, said Rittichai Tingthanathikul, director of Thai Petroleum & Trading Co (TP&T), the manufacturer of TPS Spark.
Office leasing activity resumed in June and a gradual rising trend is expected for the rest of the year following an improved outlook for the overall economy and a lower-than-expect impact from the recent political violence.
The demonstrations in April and May interrupted business in central Bangkok and caused a short halt in office leasing activity, but conditions have returned to normal more quickly than expected, said Suphin Mechuchep, managing director of the local unit of Jones Lang LaSalle.
The company found the average gross rent for grade A office space in the central business district (CBD) dropped only slightly in the second quarter, by 0.47% to 635 baht per square metre per month, from 638 baht in the first quarter.
While there was no new grade A office supply in the second quarter, the average vacancy rate in the CBD rose slightly, from 18.5% in April to 19.5% in July.