SE Asia Stocks-Thai banks rally; large caps underperform in Indonesia
BANGKOK, July 2 (Reuters) - The Thai index rose to its highest in almost a year on Wednesday, as banking stocks scaled new highs on optimism about the domestic economy, while Indonesian shares were rangebound amid a weaker rupiah and foreign selling in large caps. Investors looked forward to better business conditions and an improved loan growth outlook for Thai banks after the central bank this week signalled the economy would avoid recession this quarter and said it expected a strong recovery next year. Large cap banks' shares were among the top 30 by turnover. Siam Commercial Bank touched a nine-month high and Kasikornbank climbed to a 13-month peak in active buying. Shares of the state-run Krung Thai Bank rose to an eight-month high. The bank told analysts in a meeting that it expected a more encouraging outlook for loan demand and credit quality from the second half onwards, CIMB said in note dated June 30. "We share the same view and believe that KTB is more ready than ever to exploit the positive economic momentum," the broker said. Bangkok's key SET index was up 0.3 percent at 1,489.63 at midday, after earlier rising to 1,494.54, its highest since July 25. Jakarta's composite index was nearly flat, with shares of Bank Mandiri and Semen Indonesia among the losers, while stock exchange data showed foreign investors were net sellers in stocks. The rupiah fell on fresh concerns over the country's current account deficit and uncertainty over the presidential election next week. Singapore's property shares, including Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd, rebounded after a fall on Tuesday due to weak industry data. The benchmark Straits Times Index gained 0.5 percent, coming off a near two-month low hit in the previous session. Stocks in Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam were slightly higher while Asian stocks rose to a three-year peak after a round of upbeat global economic data whetted risk appetites and helped Wall Street taste all-time highs. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0630 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 428.34 427.44 +0.21 Singapore 3259.45 3242.64 +0.52 Kuala Lumpur 1882.02 1879.12 +0.13 Bangkok 1489.63 1485.75 +0.26 Jakarta 4885.00 4884.82 0.00 Manila 6833.24 6826.61 +0.10 Ho Chi Minh 581.26 578.07 +0.55 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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