By Chris Thomas
June 1 Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed
higher on Thursday, with the Philippines posting its biggest
gain in more than three weeks after the country's much-awaited
tax reform bill cleared a parliamentary hurdle on Wednesday.
The bill, cleared by the lower house of Congress, still
needs Senate approval and is critical to President Rodrigo
Duterte's economic programme, which focuses on infrastructure
spending and fiscal efficiency to promote growth.
The Philippine index surged as much as 1.3 percent
and closed at its highest in more than three weeks, with telecom
and real estate stocks boosting the index.
PLDT Inc, the biggest telecom stock by market
value, jumped to its highest in nearly nine months, while real
estate developer Ayala Land gained 3.3 percent.
Property stocks are among the main beneficiaries of the
bill, said Rachelle Cruz, an analyst with AP Securities, adding
that the bill's passing could help the market breach the 8,000
level. The market closed at 7,927.49.
Singapore shares posted their biggest gain in more
than four weeks, boosted by telecom and financial stocks.
Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) shares
climbed as much as 1.6 percent to their highest in more than
seven weeks, while the city-state's top lenders DBS Group
Holdings, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp and
United Overseas Bank clocked gains in the range of 0.7
percent to 1 percent.
Reports that internet provider MyRepublic Ltd is seeking
private equity backing for local wireless carrier M1 Ltd
has shored up buying interest in telecom stocks, said
Wong Kok Hoong, sales trader at Maybank Kim Eng Securities Pte
Meanwhile, Thailand's annual headline consumer prices
unexpectedly dropped for the first time in 14 months, government
data showed, giving the central bank room to keep interest rates
low to aid economic recovery.
Thai shares closed marginally higher after gaining
as much as 0.3 percent in the session.
Malaysia fell to their lowest since May 5, with
telecom firm Axiata Group hitting a
Vietnam shares gained as much 0.6 percent, while
Indonesia was closed for a holiday.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change on day
Market Current Previous Close Pct Move
Singapore 3235.96 3210.82 0.78
Bangkok 1563.11 1561.66 0.09
Manila 7927.49 7837.12 1.15
Kuala Lumpur 1763.11 1765.87 -0.16
Ho Chi Minh 741.8 737.82 0.54
Change on year
Market Current End 2016 Pct Move
Singapore 3235.96 2880.76 12.33
Bangkok 1563.11 1542.94 1.31
Manila 7927.49 6840.64 15.89
Kuala Lumpur 1763.11 1641.73 7.39
Ho Chi Minh 741.8 664.87 11.57
(Reporting by Chris Thomas; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)