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Monday, Sep 1, 2014

Asia

SE Asia Stocks: Thai shares up after new cabinet formed

Reuters | Monday, Sep 1, 2014

Thailand's newly appointed Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha reviews honor guards during his visit at the 2nd Infantry Battalion, August 21, 2014 file photo.

BANGKOK - Thai shares rose on Monday as investors bought banking stocks amid economic optimism after the formation of an interim cabinet, while Philippine company SM Prime Holdings rebounded from a two-week low hit on Friday after the announcement of a project.

Thailand's military ruler General Prayuth Chan-ocha has named the interim cabinet dominated by members of the security forces to govern the country through at least a year of political reforms before he permits an election.

The benchmark SET index had gained 0.5 per cent by midday, boosted by banking stocks. Bangkok Bank Pcl jumped 2.4 per cent to a near one-year high, while Siam Commercial Bank was up 1.6 per cent.

"We expect the Thai market to trade sideways up on Monday, to reflect continued domestic optimism as the new cabinet was officially set up yesterday, which could speed up the macro recovery started by the fiscal disbursement for the new fiscal year," broker KGI securities said in a report.

The Philippine main index edged up 0.6 per cent after two straight days of losses.

Shares of property company SM Prime, the country's fourth-biggest firm by market capitalisation, gained about 2 per cent after a 2.6 per cent drop on Friday.

SM Prime plans to spend 100 billion pesos ($2.29 billion) to develop a 2.3 square mile land reclamation project along Manila Bay, company officials said on Monday.

Shares in Singapore and Malaysia edged lower while Asian shares cautiously pushed higher, with investors wary of a deepening crisis in Ukraine and a downbeat China manufacturing survey.

Jakarta's Composite Index gained 0.6 per cent after data showed Indonesia's trade balance returned to a surplus in July, with foreign inflows boosting banking shares including Bank Central Asia and Bank Mandiri.

Vietnam's financial markets are closed on Monday and Tuesday for national holidays. Trading will resume on Wednesday.

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