October 1, 2014 / 7:18 AM / 3 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Thai shares up; govt approves economic stimulus plan

BANGKOK, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Thai shares edged higher on
Wednesday as shares of top energy firm PTT extended
gains thanks to gas price hikes and investors bought bank stocks
on hopes government measures will boost the domestic economy.
    Thailand's military government approved stimulus measures
worth more than 100 billion baht ($3 billion) on Wednesday to
boost its stuttering economy, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, the
country's prime minister said. The announcement came during the
market midday trading break. 
    Other markets in the region were range-bound as trading in
Asia was subdued with China closed for National Day and
investors monitoring Hong Kong's pro-democracy
    Thai SET index was up 0.4 percent at midday. Shares
of state-run Krung Thai Bank climbed 1.7 percent and
shares of Siam Commercial Bank gained 1.4 percent.
    PTT shares, the most actively traded, rose 1.4 percent,
adding on a 2 percent rise on Tuesday after it said its loss
from natural gas for vehicles (NGV) business will be reduced by
2 billion baht a year after the NGV price hike by 1.00 baht a kg
to 11.50 baht. 
    The Thai market had a weak session on Tuesday after data
showed the domestic economy lost traction in August amid 
contractions in trade and weak private consumption.
    "The market's focus will turn to the meeting of the cabinet
which will approve stimulus measures proposed by each ministry,"
said a strategist at broker Phillip Securities.
    Deputy Prime Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula said the
government on Wednesday will discuss short-term economic
measures that would help the economy return to its normal growth
of 4-5 percent next year. 
    Singapore's Straits Times Index was down 0.3
percent, with shares of Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd and
CapitaLand among losers.
    Data showed Singapore private home prices contracted 0.6
percent during the third quarter of 2014. 
    A weaker-than-expected trade balance in August trimmed gains
on Indonesian stocks, with Jakarta's composite index up
0.2 percent. 
    Fund flows to Indonesia's large caps were mixed, with
inflows sending shares of Bank Rakyat Indonesia 2.2
percent higher and outflows pulling down shares of Telkom
Indonesia, according to Thomson Reuters data.
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 Change at 0632 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 Singapore          3266.61       3276.74       -0.31
 Kuala Lumpur       1847.25       1846.31       +0.05
 Bangkok            1592.67       1585.67       +0.44
 Jakarta            5145.28       5137.58       +0.15
 Manila             7248.82       7283.07       -0.47
 Ho Chi Minh         610.15        598.80       +1.90
 (1 US dollar = 32.4200 Thai baht)

 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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