SE Asia Stocks-Thai shares rebound; Singapore property stocks fall
BANGKOK, March 19 (Reuters) - Thai shares rose on Wednesday as investors bought large caps and tourism-related stocks after the government lifted a state of emergency in Bangkok, while Singapore's CapitaLand fell to a near 21-month low after selling its remaining stake in an Australian firm. Thai SET index was up 0.5 percent by midday, recovering from the fall on Tuesday when investors booked profits in the overbought market. Shares of telecommunications firm Advanced Info Service Pcl , Kasikornbank Pcl and Central Plaza Hotel were among outperformers on the top 50 large caps . The government's decision to lift the emergency decree could be supportive to the Thai stock market sentiment, brokers said. Foreign investors bought shares worth a net $62.19 million on Tuesday, their first in three sessions, following the announcement. "We can expect a return of foreign funds. Foreign investors have left this market for a while since the declaration of the state of emergency in January," said Tisco Securities senior strategist Viwat Techapoonphol. Market investors will also focus on Thai Constitutional Court ruling on Feb. 2 poll case on Friday for a clearer outlook of the domestic political crisis. The court set the ruling date after conducting a hearing on the case early on Wednesday. In Singapore, shares of CapitaLand dropped as much as 1.5 percent to S$2.7, their lowest in nearly 21 months, after the company said it had sold its remaining stake in Australia's Australand Property Group. Other property shares, including Hongkong Land Holdings , City Developments Ltd were among underperformers on the benchmark Straits Times Index. "News that existing stock of unsold properties have been clearing at lower prices and CapitaLand's sale of its remaining Australand stake - after calling it a key investment last November - does not augur well for the property sector," brokerage firm NRA Capital said in a report. Other markets were mostly rangebound, while Asian stocks fell amid the backdrop of East-West geopolitical tensions involving Ukraine and ahead of a closely watched Federal Reserve policy review later in the session. Indonesian shares edged up 0.3 percent after retreating on Tuesday in part due to profit-taking by local pension funds, broker Trimegah Securities said. Among bright spots, shares of Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp climbed 2.1 percent, after a combined 26 percent rally over the past three sessions. San Miguel Corp said it was not selling its controlling stake in liquor maker Ginebra San Miguel Inc after shares in both firms surged amid market talk about a Ginebra sale. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0622 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 406.62 406.52 +0.02 Singapore 3073.41 3093.84 -0.66 Kuala Lumpur 1818.02 1820.70 -0.15 Bangkok 1380.16 1373.08 +0.52 Jakarta 4818.98 4805.61 +0.28 Manila 6464.96 6466.55 -0.02 Ho Chi Minh 604.87 599.85 +0.84 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. ($1 = 32.16 Baht) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Additional reporting by Singapore bureau; Editing by Anand Basu)
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