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ASEAN Stock Market Update

Shayne Heffernan
ASEAN equities gained on Thursday, taking their lead from a rise on Wall Street and a strong rebound in oil prices that lifted energy and related sectors. Local buying dominated gains as shares around Asia moved higher after a bullish financial company forecast reversed the double dip theory about the coming U.S. earnings season and underpinned a slow return by investors to riskier assets.

Singapore closed higher rising 1.3 percent to the highest since May 13.

Corporate Announcements Included:

Capitaland’s subsidiary, Ascott Limited, has secured contracts to manage two more serviced residence properties in Xi’an and Shenzhen.

Keppel Land’s Ocean Financial Centre is now about 63% pre-committed after securing latest tenants ANZ and BNP Paribas.

OCBC’s subsidiary has divested its stake in PT NISP Sekuritas, an Indonesian securities firm, for a consideration of approximately IDR46 billion or S$7 million.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) index closed up 2.89 points or 0.35% to close at 817.57 points on Thursday afternoon. The trade value was 29.32 billion baht.

Top five most active values were as follows;

BTS closed at 0.92 baht, up 0.03 baht (3.37%)

TMB closed at 1.64 baht, down 0.02 baht (1.20%)

BANPU closed at 622.00 baht, down 10.00 baht (1.58%)

SCB closed at 83.50 baht, up 1.00 baht (1.21%)

CPF closed at 21.50 baht, unchanged

Thailand Consumer Confidence index rose to 77.1 in June from 75.5 points in May as consumers became more convinced the economy would improve, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) reported on Thursday.

The government’s national reconciliation plan had become more concrete and it was one of the factors causing consumers to be more positive about the economic situation, UTCC’s Economic and Business Forecasting Centre director Thanawat Polwichai said.

The Finance Ministry’s Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) had increased its economic growth projection for this year from 45 per cent to 55 per cent.

Exports in May expanded 42.5 per cent, while the money circulating in the economy had risen due to the government’s Thai Khem Kaeng (Strong Thailand) economic stimulus scheme, the report said.

PTT Plc, Thailand’s largest energy firm, plans to double its revenue to 4.5 trillion baht by 2020 in order to achieve a top-100 ranking in the global Fortune 500, says chief executive and president Prasert Bunsumpun.

To achieve the goal, the company’s sales must reach US$140 billion (4.54 trillion baht at today’s exchange rate), or grow by 8% a year on average. PTT last year ranked 118th in the Fortune 500 with revenue of $59.9 billion.

The group has planned to continue its aggressive expansion, expecting to spend $100 billion over the next 10 years. Half of the total will go mainly to exploration and production and the liquefied natural gas business, with the focus on resource-rich countries.

Mr Prasert said that thanks to the large investment overseas, the company hoped to see its sales abroad contributing more than 20% of total sales in 2015 and 50% in 2020, from lower than 5% now.

Banpu Pcl, Thailand’s biggest coal producer, is likely to win approval for its A$2 billion ($1.7 billion) bid for the rest of Centennial Coal Ltd. from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board, Credit Suisse Group AG said.

“This deal had a high probability of receiving FIRB approval,” Paul McTaggart, a Credit Suisse analyst, said in a report today after consulting with an unidentified industry expert. “He could see nothing that could seriously be said to be contrary to the national interest.”

Buying Centennial would give Bangkok-based Banpu control of 10 mines in Australia and power station customers in Japan and Europe. There is a 50 percent chance the regulator will extend an initial 30-day review period, McTaggart said.

Banpu agreed to pay A$6.20 in cash a share for the 80 percent of Centennial it doesn’t already own, the two companies said this week.

Malaysia posted a smaller gain of 0.3 percent before a decision by Malaysia’s central bank to raise its key interest rate by 25 basis points, its third increase in five months, citing strong growth prospects for its economy.

Leaders in Kuala Lumpur included Hong Leong Financial Group (HLCB.KL) and conglomerate Sime Darby (SIME.KL) which gained 3.4 percent and 1.1 percent respectively.

Indonesia and Switzerland have agreed to begin negotiations on a comprehensive economic partnership under the framework of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the Jakarta Post reported on Thursday.

Investors have poured into Indonesia’s stock market in the past year and are now favouring consumer stocks on the growing strength of domestic demand. Jakarta closed flat on the day.


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