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SE Asian stocks plunge on recession fears

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October 28, 2008

SE Asian stocks plunge on recession fears
Southeast Asian stocks tumbled on Monday, with the Philippines index plunging 12.3 percent, on fears that governments and central banks worldwide may not be able to avert a global recession, reported Reuters.

Indonesia’s key index fell 6.3 percent, while Thailand lost 10 percent, prompting the automatic suspension of stock trading by the bourse for 30 minutes.

In the Philippines, the stock exchange briefly halted trading after the main index fell 10 percent. It fell further as trading resumed and finished down nearly 240 points, it worst single-day point drop on record.

"There's no other word for it but a bloodbath," said Alejandro Yu, president at RS Lim and Co in Manila.

"There was a massive selldown across the board."

Exchanges in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur were closed for a holiday on Monday.

"Hedge funds were under more pressure from unit redemptions and the key factor to the sell-off phenomenon is growing fears of recession in America and Europe," said Arpaporn Sawaengpak, a senior analyst at DBS Vickers Securities.

Banks and energy stocks were among the biggest decliners.

In Manila, shares of Banco de Oro slumped 24 percent after the Philippines' second-largest lender by assets reported a third-quarter net loss of 1.3 billion pesos ($26.35 million), largely due to provisions for its exposure to Lehman Brothers.

Most blue chips in Jakarta, including PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk , Astra International Tbk , and some big banks, fell by the maximum daily limit of 10 percent.

Energy shares led the fall in Thailand, with PTT and PTT Exploration and Production PCL losing 12.4 and 16 percent respectively, as global oil prices.

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