Asian shares gain as bank worries ease
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Asian shares gain as bank worries ease

RECAP: Asian stock markets advanced yesterday as investors' focus shifted from worries about the global banking system. That followed a revival on Wall Street, where rate-sensitive property and technology stocks led gains on Thursday.

Thai shares moved in a range of 1,586.01 and 1,615.29 points this week before closing yesterday at 1,609.17 , up 1.1% from the previous week, with daily turnover averaging 43.61 billion baht.

Institutions were the net buyers of 746.47 million baht, followed by retail investors at 434.62 million baht. Brokers were net sellers of 633.55 million baht and foreign investors sold a net 547.55 million baht.

NEWSMAKERS: US regulators said First Citizens BancShares would acquire all deposits and loans of the failed Silicon Valley Bank from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The assets, worth $72 billion, would be acquired at a discount of $16.5 billion.

  • The Chinese tech giant Alibaba has announced a plan to split into six independently operated businesses, with Alibaba as the largest shareholder. All units except the core revenue source Taobao Tmall will be able to pursue IPOs.
  • The United Kingdom is poised to become the first non-founding member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), following approval by the 11 member countries' trade officials.
  • Mizuho Financial Group and the messaging app Line on Thursday abandoned plans to develop a smartphone-based company called Line Bank after cost overruns and delays allowed competitors to hit the market first.
  • Honda Motor will begin sales of electric two-wheelers in India today. Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India is starting with annual capacity of around 600,000 units and expects to reach 1 million by 2030.
  • The US and Japan on Tuesday announced a trade deal on electric-vehicle battery minerals to strengthen their battery supply chains, while Japanese automakers will gain wider access to US tax credits of up to $7,500 per EV sold.
  • US prosecutors have unveiled a new indictment against Sam Bankman-Fried, accusing the founder of the now-bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange of paying a $40-million bribe to Chinese officials to unfreeze his hedge fund's accounts.
  • A US regulator has accused Binance and its chief executive, Changpeng Zhao, of operating illegally in the country, in a new blow to the world's largest crypto exchange.
  • Bitcoin is closing out its best quarter since the three months ended March 2021, when it surged 103%. The largest cryptocurrency by market value has jumped over 70% so far this year.
  • The Bank of Thailand on Wednesday raised its policy rate for a fifth time by 25 basis points to 1.75%, the highest since August 2019. Inflation, at 3.8% in February, is trending down but the central bank signalled one more hike might be needed to bring inflation down to its 1-3% target range.
  • The SET warned investors to be cautious when trading Delta Electronics shares after prices rose to an all-time high of 1,100 baht on Thursday with record turnover of 5.87 billion baht. Delta said there had been no significant change or development in its outlook.
  • The US dollar value of Thai exports contracted for a fifth straight month in February, down 4.7% from a year earlier, due to a slowing global economy, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.
  • Gulf Energy Development has raised 20 billion baht from bond issues, including 8 billion baht in green bonds to fund a wind power project. The proceeds will be used for business expansion, debt repayment and as working capital.
  • Hong Kong-listed Kerry Logistics Network Ltd proposes to issue a convertible bond with aggregate principal of up to 3.4 billion baht to propel expansion of SET-listed Kerry Express Thailand (KEX).
  • Berli Jucker, the owner of Big C Supercenter, has announced a restructuring plan that separates its portfolio into retail, wholesale, production, import and export of consumer products. All existing businesses of Big C are combined under Big C Retail Corp (BRC).
  • Siam Makro, the operator of Makro stores and Lotus's hypermarkets, has allocated between 25.3 billion and 27.5 billion baht this year for expansion. The economic and tourism revival has had a positive impact on retail and wholesale trade as well as hotels, restaurants and the catering industry, its main customer base.
  • Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) plans to issue more digital bonds to provide more convenience to retail bond investors. The new Easy-D digital bond depository service is scheduled to launch on April 5.
  • Bangkok Insurance has set aside 1 billion baht for portfolio investment in Thai shares this year, with a focus on banking stocks that are projected to yield higher returns as interest rates rise.
  • PTT Oil and Retail Business (PTTOR) plans to invest $900 million this year to expand its local and overseas businesses. About 45% of the budget will be used to expand its Cafe Amazon and Texas Chicken outlets, and 22% would be used to expand its network of service stations and EV charging points.
  • Electricity Generating Plc has completed the acquisition of a 49% interest in a 609-megawatt gas-fired power plant in the US state of Rhode Island through a the wholly owned subsidiary.
  • BCPG Plc, the power generation arm of the energy conglomerate Bangchak Corp, plans capital investments of 39 billion baht in domestic and overseas businesses and asset acquisitions, including those affected by ongoing banking problems in the US and Switzerland.
  • Thai AirAsia X says it expects to submit a rehabilitation plan by mid-April, compensating all passengers affected by Covid-19 within the next 4-5 months.
  • The SEC is preparing to lift the retail investment limit of 300,000 baht for initial coin offerings to stimulate investments in digital tokens.

COMING UP: On Monday, the OPEC+ countries will meet to discuss on oil production plan. During the week, China releases the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) of March. The EU and the US will report PMI for the same month from S&P Global.

  • The OPEC+ alliance on Monday is expected to leave its output cuts of 2 million barrels per day unchanged to support prices. Also next week, China, the EU and the US will report updated Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) figures.

STOCKS TO WATCH: Globlex Securities recommends high-growth stocks on the Market for Alternative Investment including SPA, D, CEYE and AU, as well as political plays: TKS, SIRI, PR9, SC, STEC and STPI.

  • The brokerage also recommends stocks that will benefit from EV investment promotion such as EA, GPSC, BCP, DELTA, PIMO, FPI and FPI. Recommended dividend plays are ADVANC, TISCO, SCB, PT and SMIT. Tourism plays include AOT, MINT, CENTEL, ERW and AAV.
  • Bualuang Securities notes that automotive production in February rose 6.4% year-on-year as material shortages eased. This will benefit stocks including AH, NEX and SAT as new car demand increases.

TECHNICAL VIEW: InnovestX Securities sees support at 1,590 points and resistance at 1,625. Pi Securities sees support of 1,570 and resistance at 1,620.

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