SE Asia Stocks -Edge up; Jakarta gains to 3-wk high; Bumi in focus
Aug 12 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets gained for a second session on Tuesday as investors temporarily shrugged off geopolitical concerns, with Indonesia at a three-week high and Singapore edging up on better-than-expected second-quarter growth. The Jakarta Composite Index was up 0.4 percent by midday led by Telkom Indonesia, which was up 0.9 percent after a government proposal to eliminate the Universal Service Obligation (USO), which is currently at 1.25 percent of sales. Shares in Indonesia's largest thermal coal miner PT Bumi Resources TBk rose as much as 6.6 percent in early trade after having fallen 10 percent in the last four sessions. Bumi on Monday said it will pay the 9.25 percent coupon of its $375 million debt on Aug. 12 before meeting with bondholders on Aug. 22 to renegotiate its terms. "The market is positively responding to the company's plan to pay the coupon of its bond, even though many doubt they will have the money to settle the debt even if they have to sell asset," said Reza Priyambada, head of research at Trust Securities in Jakarta. Analysts, however, expect a fall in the index during the week on an expected worsening of the current account deficit in the second quarter, for which data is scheduled to be released on Friday, and talks over cutting the fuel subsidy. The Singapore index was up 0.1 percent at 0619 GMT led by banks after the city-state posted a 2.4 percent economic growth, slightly up from the 2.1 percent expansion cited in the government's advance estimate and avoiding a quarterly contraction. DBS Group Holdings Ltd and United Overseas Bank Ltd, which rose 0.6 percent each, helped boost the overall index. Malaysia was steady while the Philippines was up 0.3 percent. Vietnam's benchmark VN Index dipped 0.5 percent as investors sold some of their holdings to take profit. Thailand was closed for a second day for a public holiday. For Asian companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0619 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 438.60 438.13 +0.11 Singapore 3309.17 3306.45 +0.08 Kuala Lumpur 1849.43 1849.32 +0.01 Jakarta 5133.34 5113.24 +0.39 Manila 6973.99 6956.66 +0.25 Ho Chi Minh 599.33 602.13 -0.47 * 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 Shihar Aneez in New Delhi and Fransiska Nangoy in Jakarta; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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