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ASEAN Markets Set to Rally

Shayne Heffernan
ASEAN market will rally over the next few days after a strong overnight session in the USA. If you have been following the articles I called this week as the week to own ASEAN stocks. Expect big gains in all ASEA markets today.

Yesterday, Korn Chatikavanij the Finance Minister of Thailand confirmed an election date Six to Eight months from now, Korn also said that new changes being made at the Stock Exchange of Thailand would encourage further foreign investment.

Issaree Suwunnavid told an Investment Forum today that “Current regulations in Thailand do not encourage short term trading. Short term trading and investment in Thailand will not be attractive until 2011 when the SET initiatives will be in place to deal with such transactions.”

The new president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand also stated at the event he was planning on opening up the central trading system to foreign investors. Opening the trade system to foreign investors would be a way of boosting liquidity, particularly for the top 30 per cent of listed companies, which could be promoted to be on a par with their regional peers.

Exchanges Bursa Malaysia, the Philippine Stock Exchange, SGX and the Stock Exchange of Thailand signed a deal with NYSE Technologies in February this year that involved the systems arm of the US exchange linking the national exchanges to create a virtual single trading platform.

Issaree Suwunnavid also said that an “Asean Trading Link will strengthen the competitiveness of the member exchanges and enable them to better serve their customers. National and regional interest will be well served by giving investors greater access to global capital to facilitate new development, growth and wealth creation.

Although the global markets are currently testing the “double dip” threshold ASEAN markets including Thailand are one of the few Hot Zones, the short term veiw of investing in Thailand is very positive as evidenced by trading in Thai ETF in New York”

On her outlook for Long Term investment in Thailand Issaree made a number of points,

1. Last week Finance Ministry raised its 2010 economic growth forecast for the second time in three months as soaring exports overshadowed the impact percieved political instability.

2. Gross domestic product will expand 5 percent to 6 percent in 2010, with a mid-point forecast of 5.5 percent, The government raised its 2010 export growth forecast to 22.5 percent from the 18 percent predicted in March.

3. Given the world’s debt crisis Thailand is outperforming many developed nations and is one of the most attractive investment destinations in the would considering local stocks trade at an extremely low valuation, we expect the SET index to break the 900 mark in the 1st half of 2011.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)composite index moved down 0.84 point, or 0.10 percent, to close at 814.68 points on Wednesday.

Some 9.74 billion shares worth 31.56 billion baht (about 986 million U.S. dollars) changed hands.

The SET composite index moved up 11.49 points, or 1.43 percent, to close at 815.52 points on Tuesday.

Thai conglomerate Berli Jucker BJC rose 9.6 percent. It surged nearly 30 percent at one point on speculation the company might offer to buy the Thai business of French retailer Carrefour (CARR.PA). TMB Bank TMB.BK, Thailand's sixth-largest lender, rose 7.1 percent after the bank told Reuters its Dutch partner ING (ING.AS) wanted to raise its stake in it.

The shares prices in Singapore fell 6.99 points or 0.24 percent on Wednesday with the benchmark Straits Times Index ( STI) closing at 2,861.03 points.

The overall volume stood at 1.35 billion shares worth 1.07 billion Singapore dollars (about 0.77 billion U.S. dollars).

Indonesian shares closed 8.604 points or 0.30 percent lower to 2,902.044 with transaction volume of 2.632 billion shares worth 2.088 trillion rupiah (about 230.4 million U. S. dollars). PT Skybee (SKYB.JK), which makes low-cost phones and webcams, jumped as much as 44 percent from its initial public offering (IPO) price as it made its debut on the Jakarta market.

The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) finished at 1,311.75 up 4.67 points or 0.36 percent, and the Emas was at 8,844.97 up 26.85 points or 0.30 percent.

Turnover decreased to 539.61 million shares valued at 919.15 million ringgit Malaysia (285.23 million U.S. dollars).

Vietnam's stock market index, VN-Index, closed at 496. 91 points on Wednesday, down 3.91 points, or 0.78 percent, against the previous trading day.

A total of 46.41 million shares worth 1.28 trillion Vietnamese dong (VND) (67.24 million U.S. dollars) changed hands at the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange. Prices of 56 stocks went up, 150 dropped while 44 remained unchanged.

HNX-Index, the index of Vietnam's Hanoi Stock Exchange, went down 0.71 points, or 0.46 percent, to 155.09 points.

Philippine stocks finished 0.43 percent higher on Wednesday.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index rose 14.37 points to 3,350.08. The all-share index finished up by 0.40 percent or 8. 55 points to 2,124.61.

The trade volume reached 1.61 million shares worth 3.20 billion pesos (68.83 million U.S. dollars).


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