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ASEAN STOCK WATCH Asean Affairs  2 October 2012

ASEAN Equity Preview

By Shayne Heffernan Ph.D.

In a speech delivered to the Economic Club of Indiana, Bernanke said the Fed's third round of bond purchases is unlikely to stoke inflation. He added it will not "prematurely" raise policy rates, which have been near zero since December 2008.

The energy sector also gained, with an S&P index of energy stocks up 1 percent. U.S. crude oil futures for November delivery added 29 cents to $92.48 a barrel.

The ISM's index rose to 51.5 in September from 49.6 in August, topping expectations for a reading of 49.7, according to a Reuters poll. The September reading rose above the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction. The ISM figure came after a survey from Markit showed U.S. manufacturing ended its worst quarter in three years in September as foreign demand for U.S. goods fell sharply.

The U.S. data followed surveys in the euro zone that showed manufacturing slackened in the three months to September while Asia's factories are continuing to struggle in the face of tepid demand from the United States and Europe. The data suggested the euro zone may be moving toward recession and showed a seventh straight quarter of slowing growth in China.

Vietnam

Trai Thien USA Inc (OTC Markets:TRTH)

Trai Thien USA Inc (OTC Markets:TRTH), through its subsidiary Trai Thien Logistics, announced that it is planning to establish Singapore as a new Shipping and Trade Hub for the Company to expand ahead of the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (“AEC”) in 2015. The AEC is ASEAN’s most resolute step to date to transform the region into a single market and production base by 2015.

The Port of Singapore is the busiest in the world, surpassing Rotterdam and Hong Kong. In addition, Singapore’s port infrastructure and skilled workforce, due in part to the success of the country’s education policy in producing skilled workers, is also fundamental in providing easier access to markets for both importing and exporting.

Trai Thien currently has six vessels operating at full shipping capacity. The six vessels realized 26 trips in the first quarter 2012, and are projected to make a total of 120 intra-regional voyages for the 2012 fiscal year. When factoring in down time for scheduled maintenance and repairs, a TRTH vessel completes a commercial voyage every 18 days on average. The full operational capacity status reflects the ability of Company management to fulfill its long-term plan of becoming a key player in inter-ASEAN cargo shipping.

Year-end 2011 revenues increased over 20.9% as compared to the previous fiscal year, from $12,232,991 in 2010 to $14,794,939 in 2011.

Income from Operations increased over 148% from 2010 to 2011, from $1,051,543 to $2,615,000.

Net Income increased from a loss of $539,452 in fiscal 2010 to a positive $1,377,391 in 2011.

The Company is operating a 21,990 DWT fleet comprised of six geared bulk vessels specialized in providing ocean transportation services for raw material input items such as coal, ore, grain, lumber, cement, steel and fertilizer throughout the Southeast Asia region.

The new Singapore Hub is expected to add to the capacity of Trai Thien beginning in late 2012 and early 2013.

Singapore

Singapore will work towards consolidating all its container port activities at Tuas in the west of the island state over the long term, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said on Monday.

The approach, recommended by the Economic Strategies Committee, will free up prime land that are currently occupied by the city terminals at Tanjong Pagar, Keppel and Pulau Brani, he said.

The first set of berths at the new Tuas Port is expected to be operational in about 10 years’ time. The port leases for the terminals at Tanjong Pagar, Keppel and Pulau Brani will expire in 2027.

“Tuas provides a suitable location because of its sheltered deep waters and proximity to both our major industrial areas and international shipping routes,” Lui said, adding that Singapore is planning for Tuas Port to be able to handle up to 65 million 20- foot equivalent units (TEUs) per annum.

Consolidation of port activities at Tuas will also improve capacity to meet longer term demands, achieve greater efficiency and economies of scale. It will reduce the need for containers to be moved by trucks between terminals.

There are currently five container terminals, namely Brani, Keppel, Tanjong Pagar, Pasir Panjang Terminal 1 and Pasir Panjang Terminal 2.

Thailand

Thai state oil company PTT Exploration and Production has finalized arrangements for the $3.1 billion share offer that will enable it to cover the cost of its acquisition of Cove Energy.

There had been concerns that PTTEP's fundraising would be delayed because of shareholder objections to the dilution of their equity in the firm. These fears have now been allayed since PTTEP is only making the share issue available to existing shareholders in the firm.

Around $2 billion of the new funds will be used to pay for the acquisition of Cove while the remainder of the funds will be used to pay down debt as well as fund further exploration, development and production activities, said the firm.

In the summer, PTTEP won a lengthy takeover battle with Royal Dutch Shell over the ownership of Cove Energy, which has a significant stake in Mozambique's Rovuma Basin – which contains significant amounts of natural gas and where PTTEP plans to develop an LNG business.

"The management team has actively engaged with shareholders to discuss the company’s business strategies and the rationale behind the capital increase. We are confident that our shareholders share in the Company’s vision," said PTTEP CEO Tevin Vongvanich in a statement.

The new structure of the fundraising is still subject to approval at a PTTEP shareholders meeting on Oct. 29.

Malaysia

KLCI index gained 6.65 points or 0.41% on Monday. The Finance Index increased 0.38% to 14593.82 points, the Properties Index up 0.48% to 1028.35 points and the Plantation Index rose 0.01% to 8278.62 points. The market traded within a range of 11.47 points between an intra-day high of 1644.86 and a low of 1633.39 during the session.

Actively traded stocks include SCOMI, SCOMI-WA, NICORP, INGENS, ASUPREM, GOCEAN, JCY, MAYBANK, PERMAJU and AXIATA. Trading volume increased to 857.24 mil shares worth RM1095.14 mil as compared to Friday’s 731.34 mil shares worth RM1384.89 mil.

Leading Movers were GENTING (+19 sen to RM8.90), CIMB (+6 sen to RM7.56), PETGAS (+40 sen to RM19.40), MAYBANK (+5 sen to RM9.06) and GENM (+9 sen to RM3.59). Lagging Movers were DIGI (-3 sen to RM5.25), PETDAG (-46 sen to RM22.04), TM (-5 sen to RM6.14), PPB (-14 sen to RM11.92) and TENAGA (-2 sen to RM6.80). Market breadth was positive with 295 gainers as compared to 293 losers.

Indonesia

The Jakarta Composite Index may have closed last week at an all-time high, bringing its advance for the year to 11 percent, but experts say steady, though unspectacular, gains may soon become the norm for the Indonesian stock market.

Low earnings growth, an underperforming rupiah and a drop in exports amid a period of trade deficits are likely to hold back the market from repeating the dramatic gains of 2010 and earlier.

Last year, the JCI rose just 3.2 percent, after gaining 46 percent in 2010 and surging 87 percent in 2009.

So far this year, the JCI has struggled to finish at record highs. Prior to September, the benchmark last closed the month at a record in May. Before that it closed at a record in April for the first time since August 2011.

Total earnings for this year’s first half among companies that make up the LQ-45 index increased by just 0.1 percent from the same period last year, Bloomberg data show. The median average earnings growth was 12.6 percent.

Sixteen companies out of the 45 — which combined make up about 70 percent of the value of Indonesia’s stock market — reported shrinking earnings or losses in the first half. Those companies comprised mostly of miners and plantations.

Among the worst earners was Vale Indonesia, the country’s largest nickel miner, which reported 98 percent lower earnings in the first half. Net income at Astra Agro Lestari, the biggest listed plantation company, slumped 25 percent. Indonesia’s largest coal miner, Bumi Resources, posted the biggest loss, at $322 million.

Among the biggest gainers in net income were property developers including Kawasan Industri Jababeka, which had a 299 percent increase, and Sentul City, which posted a 136 percent jump.

Still, Indonesian stocks might be viewed as expensive relative to other markets in Southeast Asia.

The JCI trades at 15.6 times this year’s estimated earnings, compared with multiples of around 14 for Singapore’s Straits Times index and Thailand’s SET index, according to Bloomberg data.

The Indonesian benchmark closed up 0.9 percent for the day at 4,262.56 on Friday.

Citigroup Securities Indonesia said in a report last week that the JCI is likely to rise to 4,450 by year’s end and climb to 5,000 in 2013 — suggesting a 12 percent increase. Analysts at Citigroup remained optimistic, saying that Indonesia’s stock market almost always underperforms when the rupiah depreciates, such as in 2005 and 2008. Citigroup forecasts earnings to rise 8 percent this year and be up 13.6 percent in 2013.

Yesterday in Asia

In Tokyo the benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed down 0.83 percent, or 73.65 points, at 8,796.51, and Singapore slipped 0.08 percent, or 2.48 points, to 3,057.86, but Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 crept up 0.04 percent, or 1.6 points, to 4,388.6.

Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul were all closed for public holidays.

The falls came after Wall Street dropped on Friday and official data Monday showed manufacturing activity in China, the world’s second-biggest economy, contracted for a second straight month in September.

The government’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) stood at 49.8, falling short of expectations. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion, while one below points to contraction.

– Taipei fell 0.51 percent, or 39.44 points, to 7,675.72.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. shed 1.0 percent to Tw$88.9 while leading smartphone maker HTC gained 2.29 percent at Tw$290.5.

– Wellington closed off 0.11 percent, or 4.12 points, to 3,830.03.

Telecom Corp. was 0.63 percent down at NZ$2.36.

– Manila was down 0.70 percent, or 37.50 points, to 5,308.52.

Top-traded Ayala Corp. slipped 1.69 percent to 419 pesos while Alliance Global Group Inc. slipped 0.63 percent to 14.60 pesos.

– Kuala Lumpur was up 0.41 percent, or 6.65 points, to 1,643.31.

Genting Malaysia gained 2.6 percent to 3.59 ringgit, while UEM Land Holdings Bhd added 2.4 percent to 1.72. Telekom Malaysia lost 0.8 percent to 6.14 ringgit.

– Jakarta fell 0.62 percent, or 26.27 points, to 4,236.29.

Vale Indonesia fell 2.5 percent to 2,875 rupiah, Indo Tambangraya lost 2.1 percent to 41,250 rupiah, while Gudang Garam rose 5.3 percent to 48,900 rupiah.

– Bangkok gained 0.07 percent, or 0.92 points, to 1,299.71.

Coal producer Banpu added 1.79 percent to 399 baht, while electricity firm EGCO edged up 0.77 percent to 131 baht.

– Mumbai rose 0.33 percent, or 61.17 points, to 18,823.91.

Leading software outsourcer Infosys rose 2.96 percent to 2,609.1 rupees ahead of its quarterly results due later this month, while vehicle maker Tata Motors rose 2.65 percent to 274.55 rupees.


Shayne Heffernan Ph.D.  

 

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