January 29, 2013 / 8:23 AM / 5 years ago

STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Bualuang upgrades AOT to 'buy' on tourism outlook

Bualuang Securities raised its ratings on Airports of Thailand Pcl (AOT) to "buy" from "hold" on expectations of strong growth in tourism.

AOT shares were 3.8 percent higher at 110 baht by mid-session, while the broader SET index was up 0.3 percent.

Bualuang expects AOT to report a 163 percent jump in its net profit at 3.30 billion baht ($110 million) for the first quarter ended December.

"The key driver of core earnings growth is a substantial rise in air traffic (with) passenger numbers increased by 29 percent year-over-year to 20.8 million people and aircraft movement by 17 percent year-over-year to 133,751 flights," Bualuang said in a report.

The research house also raised its 2012/13 net profit forecast by 10 percent to 8.60 billion baht ($287 million).

Strong earnings growth will continue into the January-March quarter, the peak season for tourism in Thailand, the report said.

1458 (0758 GMT)

$1 = 29.9850 Thai baht Reporting by Pairat Temphairojana; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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