SE Asia Stocks-Down after Chinese clampdown; Manila underperforms
April 20 (Reuters) - All Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Monday, tracking global markets on concerns of further crackdowns on margin financing by Chinese authorities, but China's decision to cut reserve requirement ratio capped further decline. Philippines underperformed the region with a 1.8 percent fall, trading at a near one-month low, led by financials. Singapore's Strait Times Index was 0.7 percent down at a near one-week low and Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index fell 0.4 percent to its lowest since March 27, while Thailand's SET Index was 0.3 percent lower. China on Friday allowed fund managers to lend shares for short-selling, and will also expand the number of stocks investors can short sell, in a bid to raise the supply of securities in the market. On Sunday, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) also announced a 100 basis points cut in the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for major banks and a further 50 basis points RRR cut for qualified state owned enterprise and joint stock banks. Traders said PBOC's rate cuts before the Monday session has saved the market from a "a bloodbath". Renewed debt worries in Greece also weighed on the risky assets. Investors locked in gains in Manila shares because targets were hit already, said Nisha Alicer, head analyst at DA Market Securities Inc in Manila. "Companies already hit full-year price targets in the first quarter alone," she said adding that holding firms, the biggest sub-sector laggard, are still prone to corrections as they are still trading at near record highs. In Bangkok, financials dragged the market after disappointing results by TMB Bank. "Externally, the western bourses fell on worries over how Greece may service its debts. This may kindle traders to lock in profits, on prevailing high prices," KGI Securities said in a note to investors. "Internally, the market may opt to digest banks' 1Q15 results," the brokerage said. Vietnam's VN Index fell 0.41 percent as investors booked profit after recent gains, while Malaysia was down 0.1 percent. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0620 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3502.33 3525.19 -0.66 Kuala Lumpur 1843.63 1845.86 -0.13 Bangkok 1561.90 1566.85 -0.32 Jakarta 5387.95 5410.64 -0.42 Manila 7798.16 7946.89 -1.87 Ho Chi Minh 565.32 568.32 -0.53 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez in COLOMBO, Viparat Jantraprap in BANGKOK, and Neil Jerome Morales in MANILA; Editing by Anand Basu)
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