Friday, December 25, 2009

Thailand’s SET May Rise 4.5% Next Week, Bualuang Says (Update2)

Thailand’s SET Index may rise 4.5 percent next week, extending its biggest gain in six years, as individual investors buy more mutual funds to meet a year-end tax deadline, Morgan Stanley’s Thai partner said.

The measure may rise to as high as 760 by the end of the year from yesterday’s close of 727.21, according to Bualuang Securities Pcl, which has a tie up with Morgan Stanley for Thai research. That would be the highest level since July 2008.

“There should be more money inflow into the equity market next week as it’s the last chance for local individuals to buy mutual funds for tax savings,” Pongrat Ratanatavanananda, an investment strategist at Bualuang, said by phone from Bangkok.

The SET has gained 62 percent this year on expectations the economic recovery will boost earnings. Southeast Asia’s second- largest economy shrank 2.8 percent last quarter, the smallest contraction in a year, as it pulls out of the global slump.

Local individuals are expected to invest at least 5 billion baht ($151 million) in mutual funds that provide tax breaks, Tisco Securities Co., Deutsche Bank AG’s partner in Thailand, said in a report on Dec. 22. The gauge today rose 0.4 percent to 730.41, the highest close since Oct. 19.

Thai individuals may invest more in the so-called long-term equity fund and the retirement fund as the government offers tax breaks for as much as 1 million baht on these investments.

More Local Buying

Local institutions, which include mutual fund and insurance companies, bought 484 million baht of domestic stocks more than they sold yesterday, an 14th straight day of net buying, according to the exchange’s data. Overseas investors sold a net 64 million baht of the stocks, the first net selling in three days.

A court decision to lift a suspension on construction for some projects in the Map Ta Phut industrial complex has also “dramatically” boosted investor sentiment, Pongrat said today.

On Dec. 22, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said 19 projects of the stalled 65 may be allowed to proceed. The Administrative Court said on Dec. 23 a project of Siam Yamato Steel, an affiliate of Siam Cement Pcl, can proceed because it obtained an environmental impact assessment certificate before the 2007 constitution was promulgated.

Pongrat recommended shares of PTT Pcl and Siam Cement, whose projects have been suspended by the court, on expectations that the court may allow construction of their plants to proceed soon.

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