BTS fund propels 1% SET gain

Thai stocks gained 1% on Friday, propelled by the trading debut of the BTS infrastructure fund, the largest initial public offering on the country's history.

  • Published: 19/04/2013 at 04:59 PM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

The Stock Exchange of Thailand Index rose 15.70 points to close at 1,545.46, an increase of 1.1% from the previous Friday's close of 1,527.32. Turnover was 58.53 billion baht, with 9.2 billion shares traded.

The local market is up 11% from the end of 2012.

Units of the BTS Growth Infrastructure Fund (BTSGIF) accounted for 3.26 billion baht of turnover as the Skytrain operator's fund closed at 12.00 baht, a gain of 11.1% from its IPO price. The units opened at 12.50 and rose as high as 13.20 baht before easing back at the close.

BTSGIF, which raised 62.5 billion baht from investors, is also the biggest IPO in Asia so far this year.

The BTS fund is expected to deliver a yield of 5.8%, which made it highly attractive to investors. It will own the net farebox revenue generated from the Skytrain network through December 2029, when the concession expires.

BTS chairman Keeree Kanjanapas toasts the debut of the BTS Rail Mass Transit Growth Infrastructure Fund at the SET on Friday. (Bloomberg Photo)

Foreign investors were net buyers on Friday of 755.6 million baht worth of Thai shares and local institutions were net buyers of 1.08 billion. Brokers were net sellers of 116.9 million baht and individual investors were net sellers of 1.72 billion baht. 

For the year to date, foreign investors have sold 9.55 billion baht more in Thai shares than they have bought. For April they have a net-sell position of 13.45 billion baht.

World stock markets posted modest gains on Friday as officials from the world's biggest economies met in Washington to search for ways to remedy sluggish global growth.

G20 officials were expected to issue a statement later in the day that would touch on the need for countries to take steps to encourage economic growth while avoiding measures that might spark a currency war.

Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.3% in early trade, Germany's DAX rose 0.5% and France's CAC-40 advanced 0.9%. Wall Street appeared set to end the week with gains, with Dow Jones futures rising 0.6%.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.7% to 13,316.48. South Korea's Kospi added 0.4% to 1,906.75m, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.2% to 4,933.60. Benchmarks in Taiwan and mainland China also advanced.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 2.3% to 22,013.57, with investors shopping for bargains after a five-session sell-off shaved nearly 600 points from the index.

In Bangkok, the SET50 index of blue chips ended at 1,018.36 points, up 9.53 points, with total trade value of 28.55 billion baht. The SETHD index of high-dividend shares rose 10.38 points to 1,230.05, with turnover of 8.42 billion baht. The Market for Alternative Investment gained 9.25 points to 479.25, with transaction value of 2.19 billion baht.

The five most active shares by value were BTSGIF, rising 1.20 baht to 12.00 baht; SCB, up 7 baht to 177; BTS, down 10 satang to 9.15 baht; INTUCH, up 25 satang to 84.25 baht; and KTB, up 70 satang to 24.70 baht.

In the currency markets, the baht continued its rapid rise even as Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said Asia's best-performing currency had started to move beyond its fundamentals.

Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said high local interest rates were encouraging inflows of funds and reiterated a call for the central bank to cut its rate.

However, he says there is no need for measures to tackle speculation in the baht.

"The central bank may come in just for so-called smoothing operations, but is unlikely to intervene to reverse the trend," said Shigehisa Shiroki, chief trader for Asian and emerging markets at Mizuho Corporate Bank in Tokyo. "The baht's appreciation pressure may continue from the inflows."

The baht was trading late Friday in Bangkok at 28.61/65 per dollar, compared with 29.70/72 on Thursday (28.82 on Wednesday) and 29.03/05 a week earlier.

The baht has appreciated 6.9% this year and has climbed 2.5% since April 3, the day before the Bank of Japan said it would buy 7.5 trillion yen worth of debt per month, which boosted speculation about more fund inflows to emerging markets.

Global funds have bought $1.7 billion more in Thai government debt than they sold this month, taking this year's net purchases to $12 billion, Thai Bond Market Association data show.

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