Hope in greece and Ukraine helps lift global stocks

Hope in greece and Ukraine helps lift global stocks

Recap: Global bourses early last week were jolted by nerves over Greece's finances, and downbeat Chinese trade data, but rebounded later on a peace agreement in Ukraine and European Central Bank approval of more emergency liquidity to Greece. The Thai stock market also rose slightly.

LH Bank says it is poised for growth and looking for partners.

The SET Index moved in the range of 1,583.93 and 1,619.65 points and closed at 1,615.89, up 0.14% from the previous week. Trading was brisk at 53.65 billion baht a day. Foreign investors were net buyers of 1.69 billion baht and brokers bought 607.55 million more than they sold. Institutional investors were net sellers of 541.43 million baht and retail investors sold 1.75 billion.

Big movers: Top loser TPP fell 22.1% to 43.25 baht and top gainer ABICO jumped from one baht to 25.50 as it resumed trading following a suspension. NPARK led in volume, up 25% to 0.05 baht. Tops in value were TRUE, down 1.4% to 14.00 baht; PTT, down 2.1% to 369 baht; and TPIPL, gaining 16.5% to 2.96 baht.

Newsmakers: China's exports in January fell 3.3% year-on-year and imports tumbled 19.9%. The latter was the worst since May 2009, when factories were still slashing inventories in reaction to the global financial crisis. Exports have not been in the red since March 2014.

China's annual consumer inflation hit a five-year low of 0.8% in January while factory deflation worsened, with the producer price index dropping 4.3% in January from a year earlier.

The ECB gave the Greek central bank approval to provide emergency liquidity to local banks of up to 65 billion euros, 5 billion more than the previous ceiling. Greek GDP contracted 0.2% in the fourth quarter, the first decline in a year, reflecting concern about the country's future in the euro zone.

Euro zone economic growth accelerated unexpectedly in the final quarter of 2014 as Germany expanded by 0.7%, more than twice the expected rate. A preliminary estimate showed the 18 euro zone economies grew 0.3% between October and December from the previous three months.

Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine agreed to a ceasefire deal offering a "glimmer of hope" for an end to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The SET is proposing a one-year silent period for capital-raising securities placed privately and sold at a discount of more than 10%. One-quarter of the silent period shares would be tradable six months later. The lock-up would not apply to creditors who agree to debt-equity swaps or to institutional investors.

The Finance Ministry is preparing to issue a draft Joint Venture Act., benefiting future big-ticket investments, especially rail projects.

The Public-Private Partnership Policy Committee is recommending an increase in the value of private investments in transport infrastructure projects from the current 300 billion baht out of the total of 1.9 trillion planned from 2015-22. The aim is to accelerate work and also ease the government's debt burden.

The Bank of Thailand insists no special measures are needed to manage foreign exchange in light of the baht's relative stability and regular fund flows. Some businesses have complained that the baht has strengthened too much relative to competing emerging-market currencies.

The Chinese ambassador to Thailand reiterated his optimism that the joint railway project between the two countries would spur yet more Chinese investments. Ning Fukui said that should Thailand want to develop industrial estates along the routes, Chinese companies would be ready to join in.

LH BANK aims for 22-25% loan growth this year from 117 billion baht last year. Corporate and SME business will be the key focus this year to diversify its portfolio. The bank plans to issue Basel III-compliant tier-2 bonds worth 3-5 billion baht to finance expansion over the next few years. President Sasitorn Pongsathorn also said the bank was still in talks with two to three prospective partners, but denied reports of a 51% share sale to CP All.

IFEC has acquired 100% of CR Solar Co Ltd for 155 million baht. CR Solar operates a 1-MW solar power plant in Lampang with an adder tariff of 8 baht/kwh for its electricity sales until 2022.

MCOT has announced a plan to lift slumping Channel 9 to third place in the TV ratings, after figures showed it had fallen to sixth place from fourth among all 27 TV channels. MCOT plans a 3.2-billion-baht investment budget, of which 2.7 billion will go to digital TV and the rest to content enhancement. It aims to increase revenue by 20% to 5 billion baht this year, of which 3 billion will come from TV.

Coming up this week: The National Economic and Social Development Board will release official fourth-quarter 2014 growth figures today. Economists polled by Bloomberg estimate annualised growth picked up to 2.5% in the quarter but the full-year figure will only be about 1%.

Japan will also announce its fourth-quarter GDP data today.

The minutes from the Jan 27-28 US Federal Open Market Committee will be released on Wednesday, along with euro-zone consumer confidence for February. The Bank of Japan meets the same day, and Washington will release housing starts and building permits for January.

Stocks to watch: Asia Plus Group Holdings Securities recommends accumulative buys on property, with top picks SPALI, PS and SENA. Other top picks are ASK in leasing, MEDIAS in broadcasting, and AAV and RCL in transport.

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