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ASEAN STOCK WATCH 4  September  2010

ASEAN Stock Market Weekly Summary

Shayne Heffernan

ASEAN Stock Exchanges hit record highs again this week as they build a solid base to keep growing into 2011.

The Jakarta Composite Index rose 42.13 points, or 1.4 percent, to 3,164.28, closing at a record high. The index gained 1.9 percent for the week.

Volume was strong, with 4.8 billion shares worth Rp 4.1 trillion ($455.1 million) changing hands. Gainers outnumbered decliners 119 to 67.

Adaro Energy, the country’s second-biggest coal producer, rose 2.8 percent, ending a six-day slide. The miner is currently in talks with Bhakti Energi Persada to buy a stake in the smaller rival, director Andre J Mamuaya said, confirming a news report on Friday by Kontan.

Indosat, the country’s second-biggest telephone company, jumped 7.1 percent, its biggest gain since Jan. 15, after the stock was upgraded to “hold” from “sell” by Deutsche Bank analyst Raymond Kosasih. Indosat said on Friday that it expected revenue growth of as much as 10 percent for 2010, while revenue for its cellular unit would rise up to 17 percent. The company also expects to have as many as 42 million subscribers by year-end.

Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam, the state-owned coal producer, rose 2.3 percent. The miner said it might increase coal supplies to state power utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara to 15 million tons next year from six million tons this year, said Nur Pamudji, PLN’s director of primary energy.

The rupiah had its biggest weekly gain since July as Bank Indonesia increased lender’s primary-reserve requirements after inflation climbed to a 16-month high in August.

The central bank on Friday kept borrowing costs unchanged while ordering lenders to set aside 8 percent of their deposits as primary reserves, up from 5 percent previously. A government report this week showed inflation accelerated to 6.4 percent last month from 6.22 percent in July.

“Indonesia’s economic picture is still intact,” said Enrico Tanuwidjaja, an economist at OSK-DMG Group in Singapore.

“Going for a more prudent measure instead of a rate hike for liquidity management means investors will not immediately” sell the nation’s assets, he added.

Increasing the reserve requirements “was already expected by the market,” said Dino Nunuhitu, vice president at Indo Premier Securities in Jakarta. “There won’t be selling of Indonesian assets by offshore investors.”

The rupiah climbed 0.4 percent this week, the most since the five-day period ended July 30, to 9,003 per dollar as of the stock market’s close in Jakarta on Friday. The currency was little changed on the day.

The currency has gained 4.2 percent this year, the third-best performance among Asia’s 10 most-actively traded currencies excluding the yen.

Overseas funds have pumped $1.6 billion into Indonesian stocks this year and raised holdings of debt by 66 percent to Rp 178.8 trillion as the benchmark interest rate of 6.5 percent, which compares with a maximum of 0.5 percent in the United States, Britain and Japan, gives the currency a yield advantage.

Bursa Malaysia closed Friday’s trading day lower as profit-taking dragged the benchmark index lower with Genting, Sime and UMW among the losers.

Asian markets closed higher while European markets gained at open as sentiments rose on more positive economic data from the US, China and India.

At 5pm, the local bourse’s FBM KLCI was 0.37% lower at 1,435.67 while Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained a quarter-percent to 2,993.99.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was 0.57% higher at 9,114.13, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added a half-percent to 20,971.50 and Shanghai’s A share index was flat at 2,655.39.

The broader local market saw relatively thin trading with 394 counters up, 325 down while 291 were unchanged.

There were 922.05 million shares done with a total turnover value of RM1.71 billion.

Genting shed 26 sen to RM9.22, Sime fell 14 sen to RM8.28 and UMW dropped 13 sen to RM6.75.

KNM was half-sen higher at 41.5 sen, Mudajaya jumped 53 sen to RM4.48 and Tan Chong gained 13 sen to RM5.09.

Supermax fell 13 sen to RM4.97 while Genting Plantations added 13 sen to RM7.45.

Nestle was up 12 sen to RM40.60 and Guinness gained 20 sen to RM8.30.

Nymex crude oil was down 30 cents to US$74.72 per barrel.

Crude palm oil for December delivery rose RM28 to RM2,570 per tonne.

The ringgit was quoted at 3.120 to the US dollar.

Abhisit Vejjajiva and Korn Chatikavanij have made Thailand the region’s best performing market and Asia’s second best this year with a 26.6 percent return.

It rose 1 percent on Friday to hit its highest since Dec. 2, 1996. A far cry from the Thaksin Shinawatra era that was bogged down under the weight of its own corruption.

SET index closed at 929.90, up 9.36 or 1.02% in trade worth 52.54 billion baht on Friday.

PTT (PTT), Thailand’s largest listed firm, which has $4.2 billion of projects on the Map Ta Phut estate, jumped 8.2 percent, while PTT Exploration and Production (PTTE) rose 2.5 percent.

PTT Chemical (PTTC) and PTT Aromatic PTTAE gained 3.4 percent and 6.8 percent respectively, while Thai Oil (TOP) jumped 6.9 percent.

BANPU increased to 634.00 baht, up 8.00 baht.

SCC increased to 313.00 baht, up 10.00 baht.

CPF decreased to 24.80 baht, down 0.45 baht.

Administrative Court has allowed 74 of 76 suspended projects at the country’s huge industrial park at Map Ta Phut to resume, ending a one-year standoff.

Only two industrial projects had their operating permit revoked: a debottlenecking project at PTT’s monoethylene glycol plant, which would have raised the capacity by 95,000 t/y to 395,000 t/y, and a planned 90,000 t/y expansion of Thai Plastic and Chemicals’ vinyl chloride monomer plant. Both projects must now undergo new environmental and health impact assessments before they can re-apply for a permit, which will delay the startup of the plants by 3–6 months.

My Stocks to watch next week are IVL, Banpu as they may see more gains, banks also in Thailand must rate a very strong buy. Thailand remains on track to meet the 2009 estimates I made, possibly outperforming them,

Shayne Heffernan: Looking at Thailand for 2010 and Beyond


The Kingdom of Thailand was established in the mid-14th century. Known as Siam until as recently as 1939, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been taken over by a European power.The country remains firmly independent of external influences. A bloodless revolution in 1932 led to the formation of the current constitutional monarchy.

In September 2006, a Military Coup ousted then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The interim military government then held elections in December 2007 that saw the former pro-Thaksin People’s Power Party (PPP) emerge at the head of a coalition government. The anti-Thaksin People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) in May 2008 began street demonstrations against the new government, eventually occupying the prime minister’s office in August.

Clashes in October 2008 between PAD protesters blocking parliament and police resulted in the death of at least two people. The PAD occupied Bangkok’s international airports briefly, ending their protests in early December 2008 following a court ruling that dissolved the ruling PPP and two other coalition parties for election violations. The Democrat Party then formed a new coalition government and Abhisit Wetchachiwa became prime minister.

Thailand has a well-developed infrastructure, a free enterprise economy, and some generally pro-investment policies, Not surprisingly Thailand’s economy was one of East Asia’s best performers from 2002-04, averaging more than 6% annual real GDP growth. However, overall economic growth has fallen sharply in recent times – averaging 4.9% from 2005 to 2007 as persistent International reports of a political crisis eroded investor and consumer confidence, and damaged the country’s image unfairly.

The growth rate fell to 2.6% in 2008. Exports remained the key economic driver as foreign investment and consumer demand stalled. Export growth from January 2005 to November 2008 averaged 17.5% annually. what has been called the 2008 global financial crisis further darkened Thailand’s economic horizon, we at Ebeling Heffernan identified this as the perfect opportunity for investment using the age old theory of buying low, selling high.

Moving Forward

Thailand has a population of some 66m people making it one of the 20 largest populations in the world and is within 2 hours flying time of 4 billion people. Thailand is strategically and economically placed to become one of the worlds great economies as China, India and the rest of Asia develop.

This is not a far distant dream, much of the change is currently underway, Thailand produced 1m cars this year and will produce 1.2m cars in 2010, mostly sold in regional markets. Thailand’s food and manufacturing industries are growing at double digit rates year on year.

AFTA is set to bring a whole new market in the coming year, the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) is a trade bloc agreement by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations supporting local manufacturing in all ASEAN countries.

The AFTA agreement was signed on 28 January 1992 in Singapore. When the AFTA agreement was originally signed, ASEAN had six members, namely, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Vietnam joined in 1995, Laos and Myanmar in 1997 and Cambodia in 1999. AFTA now comprises ten countries of ASEAN. All the four latecomers were required to sign the AFTA agreement in order to join ASEAN, but were given longer time frames in which to meet AFTA’s tariff reduction obligations. The primary goals of AFTA seek to:

Increase ASEAN’s competitive edge as a production base in the world market through the elimination, within ASEAN, of tariffs and non-tariff barriers; and Attract more foreign direct investment to ASEAN.

The primary mechanism for achieving the goals given above is the Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) scheme, which established a schedule for phased initiated in 1992 with the self-described goal to increase the “region’s competitive advantage as a production base geared for the world market”.

The countries in AFTA have a combined population of 1b people.

Export Growth

Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) Santi Vilassakdanont projected that the country’s exports would expand at least 10 per cent next year. Mr Santi said his projection was based on the country’s ability to expand its export markets in member countries of the Asean and in other countries who are Thailand’s trade partners under the free trade agreement (FTA) such as China and India.

Thailand’s gross domestic product should increase by at least three per cent next year, Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij predicted on Thursday.

“The Thai economy has passed its lowest point and it is capable of expanding by four to five per cent in 2010,” Mr Korn said.

However, the fragile global economy and the country’s political uncertainty could impede growth and lower the confidence of investors next year.

“The government will continue launching new measures to bolster the economy continuously such as tax measures, the expansion of the third generation (3G) mobile broadband network and the establishment of a national savings fund.” he said.

Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) chairman Santi Vilassakdanont predicted the export sector would expand at least 10 per cent next year.

Mr Santi said his forecast was based on the country’s ability to expand its export markets in Asean member countries and other countries that are Thailand’s trade partners under the free trade agreement (FTA) such as China and India.

He said the recovering economies in the United States, the European Union and Japan were still fragile.

The FTI chairman pointed out that oil price fluctuations and foreign currency devaluation were two key risk factors for the export sector. “If other countries devalue their respective currencies, Thailand should also consider devaluing the baht to maintain its competitiveness,” Mr Santi said.

He said the production capacity utilization in the industrial sector stood at about 60 per cent. The figure should increase to about 65 to 70 per cent next year due to the improvement in several industries, including automobiles, electronics and food industries.

The construction industry should also see substantial growth, thanks to the government’s Thai Khem Kaeng (Strong Thailand) stimulus scheme.

Thailand is an investment destination not to be overlooked.

Philippine Stock Exchange index surged by 1.86 percent or 68.2 points to close at 3,734.70. Value turnover was heavy at P7 billion.

The holding firms, mining/oil and property counters led the day’s gain, rising by over 2 percent.

There were nearly three gainers for every single decliner.

Overnight, the closely watched Dow Jones Industrial Index was up by another 50.63 points or 0.49 percent to 10,320.10 on broad-based buying.

Defying expectations of consolidation for this week, the local index rallied by nearly 5 percent this week. Since the start of the year, the index has gained by 682.02 points or about 22 percent.

Sentiment was upbeat as soon as the market opened, allowing the index to break into a new high for the year


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