May 11, 2017 / 10:28 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Largely up; Singapore hits 21-month closing high

    By Hanna Paul
    May 11 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose
on Thursday, with Singapore posting its highest close in 21
months, while Thailand extended its decline into a fourth
session to hit its lowest close in nearly two months.
    The FTSE Straits Times Index closed up 0.7 percent,
aided by solid gains in top banks. DBS Group Holdings
rose 2 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd
climbed 1 percent, and United Overseas Bank Ltd gained
1.8 percent, with all three hitting their highest in about two
    "The striking thing about the Q1 results is that across all
three banks the NPL (non-performing loan) ratio has stabilised
consistently and the specific provision has dropped by 30-50
percent quarter-on-quarter," said Jonathan Koh, a research
analyst with UOB Kay Hian Pte Ltd.
    "They are also giving positive feedback that the worst of
NPL formation from the oil and gas sector will be easing."
    Malaysian shares ended 0.5 percent higher, lifted by
utility stocks. Petronas Gas Bhd and hospitality
services provider Genting Malaysia Bhd were the
biggest gainers.
    In Malaysia, the world's second largest producer of the
tropical oil, palm oil inventories at the end of April rose 3
percent on month to their highest in 2017.
    Philippine shares snapped two days of losses, closing
0.3 percent higher.
    The Philippine central bank kept its inflation forecasts for
this year and 2018 unchanged with average inflation for 2017
expected at 3.4 percent.
    In March, exports and imports picked up, with imports rising
24 percent from a year earlier and exports up 21 percent.

    Thai shares fell 0.6 percent, dragged down by
materials. Energy Earth Public Co Ltd and Triton
Holding Public Co Ltd were the biggest losers.
    Sri Trang Agro Industry Pcl slumped 4.7 percent as
the world's biggest natural rubber producing company cut its
2017 sales guidance to between 1.3 million and 1.7 million
tonnes from 1.7 million tonnes.
    Indonesia was closed for a national holiday.    
    For Asian Companies click;  

  Market           Current       Previous     Pct Move
  Singapore        3271.11       3249.97      0.65
  Bangkok          1550.27       1560.31      -0.64
  Manila           7816.4        7794.17      0.29
  Kuala Lumpur     1775.39       1766.56      0.50
  Ho Chi Minh      724.99        724.31       0.09
  Change on year                              
  Market           Current       End 2016     Pct Move
  Singapore        3271.11       2880.76      13.55
  Bangkok          1550.27       1542.94      0.48
  Manila           7816.4        6840.64      14.3
  Kuala Lumpur     1775.39       1641.73      8.14
  Ho Chi Minh      724.99        664.87       9
 (Reporting by Hanna Paul; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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