Brokerages eye petrochemicals, hemp

Brokerages eye petrochemicals, hemp

Three key investment themes in line with the economic recovery this year should pump stocks related to the vaccine rollout, GDP growth and high-dividend equities, says a brokerage.

Hemp-related businesses also pose an attractive investment opportunity, offering the potential for huge returns, according to Maybank Kim Eng Securities research.

The brokerage is keen on at least three industries -- petrochemicals, automotive and containers -- recovering, starting from the fourth quarter of 2020 and continuing to grow until 2022.

Petrochemicals spiked 182% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) and 957% year-on-year (YoY) in the fourth quarter of 2020, while automotive rose 29% QoQ and 237% YoY, and containers increased 24% QoQ and 42% YoY.

Other sectors picked to maintain recovery are energy, media, electronics and banks, said the research.

Stock picks for the group include PTT Global and Chemical (PTTGC), VGI (VGI) and Soomboon Advance Technology (SAT).

DBS Vickers Securities research recommends investing in tourism-related stocks that are expected to rise based on vaccine rollouts such as aviation, airports, hotels and hospitals.

The brokerage suggests trading and rotating to cheaper stocks in the group for short-term investment, and accumulative buying for long-term investment when mass vaccination begins nationwide and the Thai government rolls out new support measures for the tourism industry.

Other sectors expected to benefit from the vaccine roll-outs are energy, banks and industrial estates.

"I believe the pandemic situation will resolve in the second half of 2021," said an analyst at DBS Vickers Securities who requested anonymity.

Apichat Poobunjirdkul, senior strategist at Tisco Securities, said Thai listed firms' dividend yields are expected to rise to 2.5% in 2021 from about 2% in 2020, higher than the global stock market, which has average dividend yields of around 2%.

High-dividend stocks with prospects for dividend yields of over 4% are AP Thailand (AP), Kiatnakin Phatra Bank (KKP), Quality House (QH) and Siam City Cement (SCCC), he said. If the performance of these companies improves this year, dividend payment has a high likelihood of reaching 5-6% or more, said Mr Apichat.

Capital Nomura Securities (CNS) is also upbeat on the returns of hemp stocks this year following the legalisation of commercial plantation and usage of hemp oil in food and beverage in Thailand.

DOD Biotech Plc recently announced the company is among the first seven companies permitted to import hemp seeds for plantation.

CNS expects food and beverage companies will be able to start manufacturing hemp-infused products in the second half of 2021. Stocks in this group include Ichitan Group (ICHI), Sappe (SAPPE) and RBF.

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