SE Asia Stocks -Most gain; Indonesia up on election outcome hopes
July 21 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets gained on Monday on hopes of better earnings after upbeat U.S. corporate results helped boost sentiment in the region, while Indonesian shares traded near a 13-month high ahead of the final election results. Of the 82 companies in the S&P 500 that had reported earnings through Friday morning, 68 percent beat Wall Street's expectations, Thomson Reuters data showed. The Jakarta Composite Index was up 0.8 percent by 0705 GMT, hovering around a more than 13-month high, led by banks. Analysts said the market sees Jakarta governor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, who is likely to be the next Indonesian president, as a reform-minded candidate who would reduce red tape, leading to better productivity and an improved business environment. By law, the Elections Commission (KPU) must announce the result by July 22. One commissioner told Reuters there was no need to delay the result announcement. "This is positive, as further delays would imply more uncertainties for Indonesian politics and hence, the equity market," Trimegah Securities said in a investor note. "Foreign investors have been buying on expectation of Jokowi's win while local investors have been taking profit and probably switching to deposits," with the deposit special rate at 11 percent, Trimegah Securities said in a investor note. On Sunday, a top aide of Jokowi's rival and the Indonesian ex-general widely thought to have narrowly lost in the bitterly contested presidential election said he will not accept the official result until allegations of cheating are investigated. Trimegah Securities, however, said the possibility of the country's constitutional court overturning the election result is very slim and investors will instead focus on the presidential cabinet, which the new president should announce by October. The Thai index was up 0.5 percent, trading at its highest in more than 13 months on positive outlook based on foreign inflows though political concern over an interim constitution and economic concerns on reforms remained, analysts said. Thailand's second-largest lender Krung Thai Bank Pcl reported a 15.7 percent rise in second-quarter net profit, falling short of forecasts despite increasing its loans business and non-interest income. The shares were down 1.3 pct. Kitpon Praipaisarnkit, an equity strategist at Kasikorn Securities said expectations over economic growth, better-than -expected earnings in banks, and hopes of a temporary constitution before end July 2014 have helped boost sentiment. In Manila, Philippine's snacks and beverage manufacturer Universal Robina Corp said it was buying New Zealand rival Griffin's Foods Ltd from Australia's Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) for NZ$700 million ($609 million), continuing a global rush to buy Australasian food companies. Bucking the trend, Malaysia was down 0.2 percent. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0740 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 443.37 440.81 +0.58 Singapore 3312.74 3310.53 +0.07 Kuala Lumpur 1869.77 1872.97 -0.17 Bangkok 1540.43 1533.41 +0.52 Jakarta 5125.50 5087.01 +0.76 Manila 6874.88 6853.07 +0.32 Ho Chi Minh 600.82 596.26 +0.76 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (Fransiska Nangoy in Jakarta and Aviel Tan in Singapore; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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