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ASEAN STOCK WATCH 1  October  2010

Asean Markets Will Remain FLat Today

Shayne Heffernan

ASEAN Exchanges will feel additional pressure today after a lacklustre session in the USA.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 47.23 points, or 0.44 per cent, to 10,788.05. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined 3.53 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 1141.20. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 7.94 points, or 0.33 per cent, to 2368.62.

Best Buys today are Banks in all ASEAN Exchanges, Maybank, SCB, UOB and Miners, Banpu, PTT, Petrosea.

Singapore fell 8.4 points, or 0.27 percent on Thursday with the benchmark Straits Times Index ( STI) closing at 3,097.63 points. The overall volume stood at 1.65 billion shares worth 2.12 billion Singapore dollars (about 1.6 billion U.S. dollars).

Among the losers, property developers with exposure to China were hit the hardest due to Beijing’s property market-cooling measures. CapitaLand fell 1.2% to S$4.06, while CapitaMalls Asia was down 0.9% at S$2.16.

Stocks of commodities companies also declined, with Noble Group falling 0.5% to S$1.89 and Wilmar International losing 0.8% to S$6.01. Profit taking also weighed on banks. DBS fell 1.1% to S$14.08, UOB was down 0.8% at S$18.32 and OCBC ended 0.6% lower at S$8.85.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) composite index went up 5.65 points, or 0.58 percent to close at 975.30 points at the end of trading session on Thursday afternoon.

Some 4.33 billion shares worth 36.81 billion baht (about 1.18 billion U.S. dollars) changed hands.

Shareholders of G Steel Plc, the debt-ridden hot-rolled steelmaker, yesterday voted in favour of the SET-listed company’s $170-million debt restructuring plan in hopes that the programme will be endorsed by bondholders tomorrow.

But analysts express doubts whether the bondholders will approve the plan without a fight, given the suggested large reduction of its debts.

As part of the restructuring plan, a debt-to-equity conversion, expected to be completed within two months after the bondholders’ approval, would reduce the company’s debts to 40% or $68 million from $170 million to pave the way for strategic partners to inject fresh capital critical for its survival.

Stocks with most active value were as follows:

PTT increased to 297.00 baht, up 4.00 baht.

BANPU increased to 716.00 baht, up 6.00 baht.

SCB decreased to 103.50 baht, down 0.50 baht.

PTTAR was unchanged at 27.50 baht.

PTTEP increased to 154.00 baht, up 2.00 baht

Thailand coal company Banpu has made it clear they are seeing further expansion through acquistion in the Coal sector well beyond its takeover of Centennial Coal.

Mr Vongkusolkit said the first priority was to understand the assets, which he visited last week.

“In the first phase, we will try to understand the operations and management and see how we go forward together to make the company more efficient,” he said.

Banpu will support the Centennial management and strategy, including negotiations under way for new contracts with NSW power suppliers.

Mr Vongkusolkit said Banpu was also looking to expand its interest in coalmining over power generation, taking the supply side to up to 90 per cent of its business, from about 70 per cent now.

“Since early 1990, we have been in power generation and developed many power stations,” he said. “We want to be more coal-focused and have about 85-90 per cent of the business in coalmining and development.”

In Manila stocks succumbed to profit-taking for the second session on Thursday as late surge in bargain-hunting tempered losses, keeping the main index afloat the 4,100 level.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index shed 11.1 points or 0.27 percent to 4,100.07.

The mining/oil as well as the property counters were hit hardest by profit-taking, declining by 3.6 percent and 1 percent, respectively. Only the holding firm counter bucked the downtrend.

Value turnover thinned to P4.7 billion from over P5 billion in previous days.

More than three stocks declined for every single one that gained.

In Jakarta, Indonesia the Index climbed 5.83 points, 0.2 percent, to 3,501.30, closing at a record for a fifth straight day.

The index has surged 14 percent in September, the steepest increase since July 2009. It gained 20 percent in the third quarter, the seventh-best performer among 91 benchmark indexes tracked by Bloomberg worldwide.

Jakarta racked up $1.42 billion of foreign buying in the third quarter, over three times more than in the previous quarter, Reuters reported.

Volume was heavy on Thursday, with 6.8 billion shares worth Rp 5.9 trillion ($660.8 million) changing hands. Losers edged out gainers, 119 to 113.

Astra Agro Lestari, the nation’s biggest listed plantation company, fell 3 percent to Rp 20,700, the sharpest decline since July 28. Credit Suisse Group AG analyst Teddy Oetomo said in a report on Wednesday there was a risk of “soft” palm oil prices in 2011. Astra Agro plants only oil palm trees.

Petrosea, a mining-services company, jumped 20 percent to Rp 27,600, the highest close since at least August 1991. Indika Energy may sell an 18.5 stake in Petrosea back to the public after acquiring most of the shares through a tender offer last year, Investor Daily Indonesia reported, citing an unidentified source. Indika gained 3.9 percent to Rp 3,325. Indika’s corporate secretary, Dedy Happy Hardi, could not be reached for confirmation.

Timah, the country’s largest tin producer, rose 11 percent to Rp 3,150, the highest close since Aug. 4, 2008. Tin futures climbed 1.4 percent to $24,325 a metric ton in London on Wednesday, the highest level since May 16, 2008. The contract was trading at $24,350 a ton on Thursday.

Tri Polyta Indonesia, producer of polypropylene, declined 5.8 percent to Rp 3,275 after the Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) asked the company to report on its plan to merge with Chandra Asri.

The rupiah strengthened for a fifth day on Thursday, touching its highest level against the US dollar since June 2007, and completing a sixth-straight quarterly gain.

The rupiah strengthened to 8,900 on Thursday before trading at 8,913 as of the stock market’s close. It has gained 1.5 percent this quarter and 5.2 percent this year.

“We are continuing to see inflows into Indonesian assets in line with the rest of the region,” said Emmanuel Ng, a currency strategist at Singapore’s Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. “The official comfort level for the rupiah has increased a little bit as we are facing a broad weak-dollar story.”

Overseas investors have bought $647 million more Indonesian shares than they sold this month through Wednesday, boosting net purchases for the year to $2.3 billion. The economy is expected to expand by 6 percent in 2010, up from 4.55 percent last year.

The rupiah would probably be stable through year-end and there was a “slight” risk of depreciation in 2011, the central bank’s deputy governor, Hartadi Sarwono, said last week.

Inflation likely eased in September, and Bank Indonesia was “confident” with its benchmark interest rate at a historic low of 6.5 percent, its governor, Darmin Nasution, said on Wednesday.

Consumer prices probably rose 5.9 percent in September from a year earlier, compared with an increase of 6.4 percent in August, according to the median estimate of economists.

The Malaysia stock market ended higher here on Thursday. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) was at 1,463.50 up 1.72 points or 0.12 percent, and the Emas was at 9,811.64, up 21.72 points or 0.22 percent.

The ringgit rose to a fresh 13-year high against the ailing US dollar yesterday, tracking gains by other regional currencies, as the prospect of stronger economic growth fuelled speculation of further inflows from overseas funds.

At 5pm yesterday, the ringgit was traded at 3.0846 against the greenback – the strongest level since October 1997.

Turnover increased to 1.05 billion shares valued at 1.72 billion ringgit Malaysia (557.09 million U.S. dollars), compared with 905.08 million shares valued at 1.45 billion ringgit Malaysia (469.94 million U.S. dollars) on Wednesday.

The market’s overall gains were limited by investor caution on lack of fresh leads.

The Finance Index added 0.51% to 13353.58 points, the Properties Index climbed 0.95% to 916.03 points and the Plantation Index fell 0.07% to 6792.50 points.

The market traded within a range of 5.01 points between an intra-day high of 1466.21 and a low of 1461.20 during the session.


Trading volume increased to 1051.79 mil shares worth RM1718.16 mil as compared to Wednesday’s 905.08 mil shares worth RM1449.06 mil.

Winners were MAYBANK (+9 sen to RM8.80), AMMB (+8 sen to RM5.93), PUBLIC BANK (+4 sen to RM12.56), TELEKOM (+5 sen to RM3.42) and MAS (+12 sen to RM2.33).

Losers IOI (-8 sen to RM5.47), SIME (-3 sen to RM8.50), AXIATA (-2 sen to RM4.38), TNB (-2 sen to RM8.82) and GENM (-2 sen to RM3.39). Market breadth was negative with 329 gainers as compared to 399 losers.


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