SET surges on blue-chip buys

Thai stocks surged yesterday amid the highest turnover this year as investors bought heavily into blue-chip shares added to the influential MSCI global index.

  • Published: 30/11/2012 at 04:57 PM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

The Stock Exchange of Thailand Index rose 14.47 points to close at 1,324.04, a gain of 3.3% from the previous Friday's close of 1,281.70 and the biggest weekly percentage gain in more than three months.

Turnover reached 77.6 billion baht, with 6.5 billion shares traded. The top 10 shares by value accounted for nearly 36 billion baht in trade alone.

Figuring prominently in trading were the four companies added, effective Friday, to the MSCI global index calculation, which is closely watched by large institutional investors worldwide.

The newcomers are Airports of Thailand (AOT), Bangkok Dusit Medical Services (BGH), Central Pattana (CPN) and Siam Makro (MAKRO). Their inclusion brings the total number of Thai shares in the index to 22.

"This reflects the fact that Thai shares have higher liquidity and market capitalisation. The increasing weight of Thai stocks in MSCI global indices will result in more foreign investors investing in Thai shares," SET president Charamporn Jotikasthira said last month.

Foreign investors were net buyers on Friday of 3.85 billion baht worth of Thai shares and local brokers bought 2.19 billion. Local institutions were net sellers of 1.6 billion baht and individual investors sold 4.5 billion.

Changes were also made in the MSCI small-cap indices, with nine new Thai shares added and five shares removed.

The new shares are Bangkok Aviation Fuel Services (BAFS), Golden Land Property Development (GOLD), Loxley (LOXLEY), Rojana Industrial Park (ROJNA), Srithai Superware (SITHAI), Sriracha Construction (SRICHA), SVI Plc (SVI), Thitikorn (TK) and Vibhavadi Hospital (VIBHA).

The five shares removed are Electricity Generating (EGCO), Minor International (MINT), Ratchaburi Holding (RATCH), Robinson Department Store (ROBINS) and True Corporation (TRUE).

The SET50 index of blue chips ended on Friday at 898.81 points, up 11.37 points, with total trade value of 65.68 billion baht. The SETHD index of high-dividend shares rose 3.64 points to 1,156.40, with turnover of 11.46 billion baht. The Market for Alternative Investment gained 0.27 points to 393.46, with transaction value of 2.4 billion baht.

The five most active shares by value were Advanced Info Service (ADVANC), rising 5.3% to 220 baht on turnover worth 6.44 billion baht; CPN, up 4.50 baht to 81 in trade worth 4.97 billion baht; AOT, gaining one baht to 95.00 with 4.35 billion baht in tuirnovber; MAKRO, up 22 baht to 484 with 4.15 billion baht in shares traded; and BGH, up 2.50 to 112 baht on turnover of 4.1 billion.

In the bond market, government bonds recorded a weekly decline after the Bank of thailand left its benchmark interest rate untouched and signelled that it was done with policy easing for now. The baht was little changed from a week earlier.

Central bank governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said on Wednesday that the Monetary Policy Committee considered current economic data did not warrant an interest-rate cut.

The MPC held its policy rate at 2.75%, after reducing it by a quarter percentage point in October.

Official reports this week showed exports climbed 16% last month in the biggest increase since August 2011 and imports jumped 22%, while manufacturing surged 36%, albeit from a very low base in October 2011 when flooding crippled industry.

"Compared with the last one, the [MPC] statement this time was more optimistic about the economic outlook and some investors who expected more rate cuts may have wanted to adjust their positions," said Kozo Hasegawa, a Bangkok-based foreign-exchange trader at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.

"I don't see bond yields sharply rising from here. The baht didn't move much due to mixed flows from importers and exporters."

The yield on the 3.625% securities due in June 2023 rose seven basis points this week to 3.58%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That was the biggest gain since the five-day period ended on Sept 14.

In the currency markets, the baht was trading late Friday in Bangkok at 30.68/70 to the dollar, compared with 30.70/75 on Thursday and 30.68/73 the previous Friday.

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