SE Asia Stocks-Thai index inches up; Big C rallies after stake sale deal
BANGKOK, Feb 8 (Reuters) - The Thai stock index ended slightly higher on Monday, helped by shares of Big C Supercenter that rose to a 13-month high, while trading volumes were at the lowest in six weeks as public holidays kept investors on the sidelines. The benchmark SET index closed at 1,307.57 after climbing to a near two-month high of 1,313.29. About six billion shares changed hands, the lowest since Dec. 25. Shares in Big C finished up 9.7 percent as investors cheered an up to $3.5 billion deal by France's Casino Group to sell its majority holding in the Thai hypermarket operator to TCC Group, owned by whiskey tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi. Shares of TCC Group's consumer conglomerate Berli Jucker surged 11 percent on expectations the company will benefit from the acquisition. The overall stock market attracted net foreign buying worth 45 million baht ($1.27 million) on Monday, a third straight trading session, stock exchange data showed. Asian shares pared losses on Monday as a weaker yen helped Japan's Nikkei snap a four-day losing streak, but trade was thin with many regional markets closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. All share markets in Southeast Asia, except Thailand, were closed on Monday. Indonesia and the Philippines will resume trading on Tuesday, while the rest will remain closed. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current previous close Pct Move Bangkok 1307.57 1306.29 0.10 Change so far this year Market Current End prev yr Pct Move Singapore -- 2882.73 -9.00 Bangkok 1307.57 1288.02 1.52 Manila -- 6952.08 -2.69 Jakarta -- 4593.008 4.48 Kuala Lumpur -- 1692.51 -1.78 Ho Chi Minh -- 579.03 -5.92 ($1 = 35.5100 baht) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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