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Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014

Asia

Thailand, Indonesia stocks up slightly; new government in focus

Reuters | Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014

Jokowi was declared the winner of Indonesia's presidential election, bringing the promise of major reforms to the world's third largest democracy.

BANGKOK - Southeast Asian stocks rose on Tuesday after Wall Street climbed to its highest since late July, with Thailand and Indonesia edging up cautiously as investors awaited the formation of new governments.

Bangkok's SET index was up 0.2 per cent amid selective buying in stocks such as builder Ch Karnchang and retailer CP All, as the 2015 draft budget assured investors of further growth in domestic investment and consumption.

The 2015 budget bill (October-September) worth about 2.575 trillion baht ($80.85 billion) has passed its first round of debate by the National Legislative Assembly.

The country is expected to name its prime minister and cabinet members this month.

"The selection of a new prime minister may also be sooner, possibly Aug. 21, compared to the previous schedule for the final week of the month," strategists at broker KGI Securities said in a report.

Jakarta's Composite Index rose 0.2 per cent to 5,165.30, with XL Axiata and Bank Rakyat Indonesia among the actively traded stocks.

Broker Danareksa Securities said it had an 'overweight' rating on the market, with a year-end index target of 5,248, citing the formation of the new government in October.

"In October, the new government will be installed and the president will announce his new cabinet. These catalysts should help bolster confidence," the broker said in a report.

Stocks in Singapore and Malaysia hovered around their two-week highs, the Philippine index rose for a second day and Vietnam hit a near two-week high amid hopes of some easing of tensions in the Ukraine crisis.

Among weak spots in the region, shares of Petron Corp tumbled to their lowest in more than 11 months after the Philippines' largest oil refiner said its employee retirement fund had sold $100 million worth of shares at a discount.

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