May 11, 2017 / 4:47 AM / in 7 months

SE Asia Stocks-Upbeat; S'pore hits 21-mnth high

    By Hanna Paul
    May 11 (Reuters) - Singapore scaled a 21-month peak on
Thursday, powered by banks, with Southeast Asian stock markets
largely upbeat, mirroring broader positive sentiment in Asia and
Wall Street.
    Singapore shares gained as much as 0.8 percent to
their highest since July 2015, on solid gains in top banks.
    DBS Group Holdings, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp
Ltd and United Overseas Bank Ltd surged as
much as 1-2.2 percent to around 2-year highs. 
    "The striking thing about the Q1 results for the local banks
is that across all three banks the NPL (non-performing loan)
ratio has stabilised consistently and the specific provision has
dropped by 30-50 percent quarter-on-quarter," said Jonathan Koh,
research analyst at UOB Kay Hian Pte Ltd.
    "They are also giving positive feedback that the worst of
NPL formation from the oil and gas sector will be easing. This
consistent pattern and feedback creates confidence that whatever
damage that happened in the past due to exposure to the sector
are behind us," Koh added.
    Asian stocks edged up, lifted by a record closing high on
MSCI's global stocks benchmark, after strong gains in oil prices
boosted energy shares.
    Malaysian shares rose as much as 0.8 percent to
record their biggest intraday gain in nearly three weeks, lifted
by industrial and real estate stocks.
    Malaysia's industrial production rose 4.6 percent in March
from a year earlier, helped by strength in the manufacturing and
mining sectors, government data showed.
    Petronas Gas Berhad and British American Tobacco
 were the biggest gainers on the benchmark.
    In the Philippines, shares bounced back as much as
0.9 percent, after two days of losses caused by profit-taking. 
    In March, exports and imports of the country picked up, with
imports rising 24 percent, and exports up 21 percent, from a
year earlier.
    The Philippine central bank is set to announce its policy
review later in the day where it is expected to leave its
benchmark interest rate unchanged, according to 10 economists in
a Reuters poll.
    Thailand was flat while Vietnam edged up as
much as 0.3 percent, on its third straight day of gains.
    Jakarta SE Composite Index is shut on account of a
national holiday.
    
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS : Change as at 0422 GMT
  Market           Current       previous     Pct Move
                                 Close        
  Singapore        3268.91       3249.97      0.58
  Bangkok          1560.47       1560.31      -0.01
  Manila           7836.28       7794.17      0.54
  Kuala Lumpur     1777.59       1766.56      0.62
  Ho Chi Minh      725.71        724.31       0.19
                                              
  Change on year                              
  Market           Current       End 2016     Pct Move
  Singapore        3268.15       2880.76      13.45
  Bangkok          1560.12       1542.94      1.11
  Manila           7836.28       6840.64      14.6
  Kuala Lumpur     1777.96       1641.73      8.30
  Ho Chi Minh      725.71        664.87       9.3
 

 (Reporting by Hanna Paul; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)
  

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