Recap: Economic figures that were weaker than expected in Europe and Japan dominated sentiment last week ahead of the G20 finance ministers' meeting on the weekend. The SET still moved up, driven by large-cap shares and domestic investors' speculative trading.
The SET Index traded in the range of 1,486.20 and 1,527.48 points and closed at 1,521.52, up 1.6% from the previous week, with daily average turnover of 57.92 billion baht.
Foreign investors remained major net sellers of 3.94 billion baht, retail investors sold 284.48 million, and brokers sold 750.08 million baht. Local institutions were the only net buyers at 4.98 billion baht. Foreign investors' net-buy position for the year has fallen to 1.9 billion baht from 16 billion three weeks ago.
Big movers: Premier Products (PPP), the first IPO on the SET this year (in the property & construction industry group) opened at 14.00 baht, peaked at 14.90 on its first day and closed the week at 9.70 baht, up 94% from the IPO price of 5.00 baht.
Among other high-turnover stocks, Bangkok Land (BLAND) gained 8.33% on the week to 2.08 baht, PTT rose 2% to 357 baht, BMCL was unchanged at 1.40 baht, and TMB gained 3.3% to 2.44 baht.
Newsmakers: The SET moved on Friday to toughen curbs on speculation. Stocks singled out for abnormal trading patterns and subject to cash-balance accounts will require full cash payment upfront for six consecutive weeks, double the current period, from March 1. So far this year 44 stocks have been singled out, compared with 50 for all of last year.
- PTTEP, with an eye on interest rates, plans to negotiate with banks to reschedule payments of some of its US$3.7 billion baht in debt. It has $1.4 billion due in 2015.
- No Thai securities were added to or deleted from the MSCI Global Standard Indices, Global Small Cap Indices and Global Micro Cap Indices in the February review.
- Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong repeated that he'd like to see the central bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) set its policy interest rate at an "appropriate" level (translation: lower to weaken the baht and help exporters), even though the baht already eased back last week.
- The cabinet approved a 2.52- trillion-baht draft fiscal budget for 2014. Expenditures would rise 5.3% from this year, or 100 billion baht, with a budget deficit of 250 billion baht, down from 300 billion in 2013.
- Major Cineplex Group is partnering with Japan's Aeon Mall to operate a cinema complex in Phnom Penh with 17 theatres with 2,000 seats and 14 bowling lanes.
- MK Real Estate Development will launch four new projects worth more than 3 billion baht, aimed at booking the same amount in presales and revenue as last year.
- Maybank Kim Eng aims to be a leader among Asean financial institutions by 2015, with a revenue growth target of 15% this year, said Montree Sornpaisarn, chief executive of MBKE Thailand.
- Kasikorn Securities, the second largest broker, aims to pass MBKET with a strategy to open 18 more branches to total 60 this year. It also wants to open 18,000 new internet trading accounts and will seek more business from 5,220 high net worth customers of Kasikornbank.
- The SEC filed a criminal complaint of "frontrunning" against Sopana Janeborvorn, a former fund manager at Kasikorn Asset Management (K-Asset) and SCB Asset Management (SCBAM). The complaint alleges that she obtained unlawful gains for the benefit of herself and others. Named as aiders and abettors were Phra Suthep Arpassaro (Panpai) and Vachala Pisitsak.
- Siam Makro is conducting a feasibility study into expanding its cash-and carry store chain in Asean.
- Tata Steel Thailand wants the government to raise import tariffs on Chinese-made steel wire rods. It says subsidised imports are as much as 15% cheaper than other products in the local market.
- Siam City Cement, the country's second largest cement maker, will spend 3.6 billion baht this year and next to expand production in Thailand and build a new plant in Indonesia.
Coming up this week: Automobile sales data for January will be released today.
- The Monetary Policy Committee meeting on Wednesday will be closely watched. While most analysts expect no change in the policy rate, a reduction would signal concern about foreign capital inflows.
- The EU trade balance and US inflation will be among other economic reports released.
Stocks to watch: Asia Plus Securities (ASP) recommends trading in small-cap stocks that have high potential for growth, such as NBC and LHK.
- Tisco Securities recommends buys in TCAP, BAY, THCOM, STEC, AP, QH, MK and ASP, on expectations of no change in interest rates, as those stocks would benefit directly.
Technical view: ASP sees support at 1,509 and resistance at 1,550. Tisco Securities sees support at 1,505 and resistance at 1,530.
About the author
Writer: Nuntawun Polkuamdee & Darana Chudasri