BANGKOK, March 14 -- The Stock Exchange of Thailand plans to commence digital asset trading operations on a new exchange next year, with core infrastructure projected to be completed in the third quarter.
SET president Pakorn Peetathawatchai said the bourse will develop a digital asset ecosystem or endto-end platform for digital assets by structuring core infrastructure such as the issuing process, asset tokenisation, trading systems, settlement systems, e-wallet and custody providers.
The SET needs to apply for licences to operate all types of services for a digital exchange, and the bourse may join hands with partners experienced in digital asset trade, Mr Pakorn said. Under the royal decree on digital assets that took effect on May 14, 2018, there are four types of secondary business intermediaries: digital exchanges, brokerage firms, dealers and token portal service providers, also known as initial coin offering (ICO) portals. Exchanges, brokers and dealers are required to apply for licences from the Finance Ministry, while ICO portals must be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission. E-wallet and custody providers involved with security and trading information are among the most crucial parts of the digital asset trading system, Mr Pakorn said. The digital asset exchange will be the future of the SET, which goes hand-in-hand with developing the traditional exchange, he said.
The SET will develop a digital trading platform and will be open in 2020, he said. Market trust, good trading process and the digital asset ecosystem will increase long-term market competitiveness. Designing the digital asset exchange will take 3-4 months to complete, while building core infrastructure is expected to conclude in the third quarter, Mr Pakorn said. We have to prepare to transform to a digital asset exchange now, because the world is changing fast, and waiting may be too late to be competitive, he said. Among the initiatives to develop digital asset operations, the SET will have a meeting with market participants on March 27 to brainstorm ideas and listen to opinions from all stakeholders before structuring the new digital exchange platform.
Stakeholders who will join the meeting include market regulators, banks, securities firms, asset management firms, issuers, custodians and fintech firms. The digital asset trading platform and the planned ecosystem will serve all types of digital asset products, including cryptocurrencies, digital tokens, ICOs and securities token offerings, said SET executive vicepresident Kitti Sutthiatthasil. The platform will be designed as an open trading platform that can easily connect with other trading platforms in the future, Mr Kitti said. For 2019, Thailand’s capital market will be transformed towards digitalisation through developing infrastructure necessary for digital asset trading, Mr Pakorn said.
These include opening scripless accounts with personal identification, payment for revenue stamps for appointing brokers and allowing banking electronic payments. The SET's FundConnext will be connected to Clearstream, a post-trade services provider, to link with 56 other global markets worldwide.
FRANKFURT, March 8 -- Mario Draghi revealed the biggest cut in the European Central Bank’s economic outlook since the advent of its quantitative-easing programme as policy makers delivered a new round of stimulus to shore up growth.
The ECB president said the euro-zone economy will now expand only 1.1% this year, a drop of 0.6 percentage point from the forecast given out just three months ago. A package of assistance from new loans for banks to a longer pledge on record-low rates is intended to expand the institution’s existing stimulus, he said. “The persistence of uncertainties related to geopolitical factors, the threat of protectionism and vulnerabilities in emerging markets appears to be leaving marks on economic sentiment,” Draghi told journalists in Frankfurt on Thursday. “The risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook are still tilted to the downside.”
The ECB is reverting to stimulus just three months after policy makers decided to end their bond-buying programme and hoped to start weaning the euro-area economy off its crisis-era stimulus. Their luck ran out after the export-dependent European economy buckled under the weight of trade tensions, a slowdown in China and the uncertainties around Brexit. While many anticipated the ECB would act, an announcement wasn’t expected as early as Thursday. That signals the level of concern among Governing Council members, something that’s been echoed across other institutions and central banks in recent days. The OECD slashed its forecasts for European and global growth, the Bank of Canada said there’s “increased uncertainty” about the timing of its future rate increases, and New York Federal Reserve President John Williams said the US central bank can be patient about deciding its next move.
"SET drops ahead of Thai Raksa Chart ruling"
BANGKOK, March 6 -- Thai stocks dropped ahead of the Constitutional Court' ruling on the Thai Raksa Chart Party, while Philippine shares jumped 2% on Wednesday, led by real estate and consumer stocks.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand main index fell 13.49 points or 0.82%, in turnover of 44 billion baht, with all sectors except energy in the negative territory. The court will give its ruling on Thursday whether to ban Thak Raksa Chart for nominating Princess Ubolratana as its candidate for prime minister in the March 24 general election. The Election Commission had asked the court to dissolve the party after it nominated the princess. "Tomorrow's ruling will be worth closely monitoring as it may trigger a start of heightened political risks that could derail the Thai economy," OCBC Bank said in a note.
The Philippine benchmark stock index, which was Southeast Asia's worst performer last month, gained the most among regional markets as a selloff last week made valuations more attractive. Foreign investors bought net 273 million pesos (US$5.23 million) in equities on Wednesday, exchange data shows. SM Prime Holdings, the country's second-largest firm by market value, advanced 3.6%, while real estate conglomerate Ayala Land Inc gained 2.3%.
Singapore stocks closed lower for a second session in three, dragged by industrial and consumer stocks. Index heavyweight Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd dipped 2.1%, while food retailer Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd weakened 4%.
Meanwhile, Indonesian shares snapped two consecutive sessions of losses, helped by consumer and financial stocks. Clove cigarette maker Gudang Garam Tbk PT rose 2.1%, while lender PT Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk added 11.4%.
"Regional bourses gain as trade war thaws"
BANGKOK, February 26 -- Most stock exchanges across Asia rallied yesterday, with the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) index gaining 0.76%, buoyed by the US's announcement to delay punitive tariffs on Chinese exports.
Most stock exchanges across Asia rallied yesterday, with the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) index gaining 0.76%, buoyed by the US's announcement to delay punitive tariffs on Chinese exports. The US is delaying a planned increase of tariffs on more than US$200 billion in Chinese exports after both sides hailed "substantial progress" made in trade talks, reported AFP. US President Donald Trump said he planned to hold a summit with China's president at his Florida estate to ink a deal. Such positive bilateral trade negotiations led to investors' upbeat sentiment, with China's Shanghai SE Composite index rising the most by 5.6%.
On the domestic front, the SET index closed at 1,671.75 points, up 12.55 points, in turnover worth 56.7 billion baht. Institutional investors and brokerage firms were net buyers of shares worth 3.1 billion and 236 million baht, respectively. "I expect the situation surrounding the Sino-US trade war will be better from this point forward," said SCB Securities senior vice-president Pornthep Jubandhu. Foreign capital should return to emerging markets including Thailand, said Mr Pornthep. Thailand's upcoming general election also provides support in boosting private consumption, he said. "Even though sentiment between the US and China is improving, Thai exports will not recover suddenly. Trade will take around six months to see a tangible impact, with the services sector being affected the most right now," said Mr Pornthep.
Market participants are closely observing two factors: the US's planned tariffs on imported automobiles and the US's trade deficit with China, he said. An analyst from DBS Vickers Securities Thailand, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the SET's positive momentum came from the fruitful trade negotiations and the US Federal Reserve pausing its interest rate normalisation, stopping the reduction of its balance sheet until the end of this year. But negotiations on Brexit, domestic political uncertainty and fourth-quarter earnings of SET-listed firms are still keeping a lid on investor confidence, said the analyst. Fourth-quarter performance and dividend payments are the factors to watch.
"Trade optimism lifts spirits, SET leads region"
BANGKOK, February 25 -- Recap: Global stock markets rebounded late in the week as investors anticipated a positive outcome of US-China trade negotiations.
Thailand led regional peers, helped by gains in consumer and energy stocks and shrugging off a fall in exports in January. The SET index moved in a range of 1,635.71 and 1,661.09 points before closing at 1,659.20, up 1.4% from the previous week, in moderate turnover averaging 47 billion baht a day. Foreign investors were net buyers of 10.35 billion baht, while brokerage firms bought 1.3 billion and institutional investors purchased 705.7 million worth of shares. Retail investors were net sellers of 12.4 billion.
The founder of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei has hit back at US efforts to blacklist the company and denied there are any "backdoors" in its technology to spy for Beijing. US President Donald Trump said the trade talks with China were complex but were "going very well" and reiterated that the deadline for raising tariffs could be extended, saying March 1 was "not a magical date". British officials are in Brussels seeking new guarantees from the EU rather than demanding the Brexit divorce deal be reopened, sources said on Thursday. Bloomberg also reported that Prime Minister Theresa May might seek a three-month extension of the March 29 deadline for leaving the union.
Malaysian authorities have filed money-laundering charges against a British national who had worked for former prime minister Najib Razak as a media adviser. Mr Najib is also facing numerous charges in connection with the disappearance of billions of dollars from the state fund 1MDB. HSBC said its pre-tax profit rose last year but it suffered a bruising final quarter as worries over the global economy and the US-China trade war began to bite.
Thailand's economy grew at the fastest pace in six years in 2018, with fourth-quarter GDP expansion of 3.7% year-on-year beating expectations on higher domestic demand and growing tourism arrivals.
The baht on Wednesday soared to its highest level against the dollar in more than five years on hopes that the US and China would be able to secure a trade deal. The use of free trade agreement privileges and the Generalised System of Preferences by Thai exporters topped nearly US$80 billion in 2018, outpacing the target of $70.8 billion set by the government. The Stock Exchange of Thailand is considering extending the night trading period for gold futures to serve high demand amid foreign-exchange fluctuations and prospects of slower global economic growth. The National Legislative Assembly has approved an amendment to the SEC Act to pave the way for scripless securities issuance and tokenised securities via blockchain. Foreign investors remain confident about Thai economic prospects, but fret over the connectivity between the Eastern Economic Corridor and related infrastructure developments, anti-corruption policy and the direction of free trade agreements, according to the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand. Financial uncertainties and a global economic slowdown have prompted investors to reduce their exposure to high-risk assets, which could change market conditions, says Tisco Asset Management. The US recruitment agency Manpower Group Thailand forecasts an unemployment rate in 2019 of 1.1% to 1.2%, or between 418,000 and 450,000 people, compared with 400,000 in 2018. The number of housing transfers jumped in the fourth quarter last year, with the figure expected to continue rising in the first quarter of 2019 as buyers rush to avoid tighter mortgage lending rules that will take effect on April 1.
The Thai Retailers Association (TRA) says it stands by its position that there should no longer be a master concession for duty-free business at Suvarnabhumi airport. The current King Power monopoly expires in 2020 and Airports of Thailand is preparing to call bids for a new concession. The TRA says the concession at Suvarnabhumi should be split into at least four contracts. Thailand ranked No.1 for mobile banking users, second for ownership of cryptocurrency, and third in mobile commerce, according to the Global Digital Report 2019. The Bank of Thailand expects 10 financial and non-financial institutions to soon complete testing facial recognition for electronic Know Your Customer (e-KYC) technology. This could pace the way for passbook account opening through mobile banking apps to begin in the second quarter. SET-listed Siam Cement Group (SCG), Thailand's largest industrial conglomerate, is preparing to expand investment in logistics and service businesses to serve the Eastern Economic Corridor.
SET-listed Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Plc (RATCH) has earmarked 16-26 billion baht for 2019 capital expenditure.
SET-listed Thai Union Group Plc (TU), the global seafood conglomerate, reported lower net profit and sales last year, due in large part to a strong baht in the first quarter. Full-year net profit fell 13.4% to 5.2 billion baht.
Germany will release preliminary March consumer confidence on Tuesday. The EU will release February business confidence on Wednesday, with Canada announcing January inflation. On Thursday, the US will announce revised fourth-quarter 2018 GDP growth, Britain will release February consumer confidence and Germany will release February inflation figures. China will release manufacturing PMI readings on Thursday and Friday, and Japan will release February consumer confidence on Friday. On the same day, the US will release personal income and spending data for December and January. Stocks to watch: Asia Plus Securities recommends hospitality firms as they are poised to benefit from tourism growth. Its picks are ERW, MINT and CENTEL. DBS Vickers Securities Thailand recommends accumulating stocks expecting to report Q1 earnings, with top picks AOT, BBL, CPALL, HANA, PTT and WHA. Yuanta Securities Thailand recommends accumulating defensive stocks with cheap valuations and high dividends, among them SCB, SCC, TISCO, KKP, QH and PSH. Technical view: Capital Nomura Securities sees support at 1,640 points and resistance at 1,688. RHB Securities Thailand sees support at 1,620 and resistance at 1,670.
BANGKOK, February 21 -- Foreign investors have dumped 10.5 billion baht in Thai equities in seven straight sessions, the longest losing streak in more than two months, as worries about potential political instability grip the nation ahead of elections in March.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand main index has lost about 175 billion baht of its market value since the surprise, short-lived entry of the sister of His Majesty the King into politics threw the election into turmoil. On Feb 8, Princess Ubolratana stunned the nation with her candidacy for prime minister for the Thak Raksa Chart Party that is loyal to ousted ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra. But the King blocked her bid, with the party facing dissolution ahead of the election on March 24, the first since a 2014 military coup.
Since then, foreign investors have sold a net 10.5 billion baht of Thai shares. In November, foreign net selling was 9.3 billion baht over an eight-session period. Until recently, overseas inventors had bought a net 8.3 billion baht of Thai shares between Jan 1 and Feb 7. After Feb 7, things turned down with foreign sales of 2.3 billion baht for the year-to-date. In 2018, foreign net selling was nearly 300 billion baht. Investors may return after the election, fund managers say. "That's because of political uncertainty. The political heat is still here," said Prapas Tonpibulsak, chief investment officer of Talis Asset Management. "Some investors may want to sell some and are in no rush to come back until there is clarity after the poll," he said.
Thai stocks are still a good bet because economic fundamentals remain solid, with growth of more than 3% expected this year, said Saharat Chudsuwan, head of marketing and wealth advisory of TISCO Asset Management. "This is just political noise and it will go away," he said. The key risk for the economy is the possibility of violent protests ahead of the elections, said Capital Economics. "Another outbreak of protests and violent conflict, would deal a significant blow to the economy," it said, estimating that the last outbreak of violence in 2013-2014 knocked around 0.7 percentage point off economic growth.
Southeast Asia's second-largest economy grew slightly faster than expected in the fourth quarter, with 2018 growth of 4.1%-- the fastest pace in six years. But growth this year could be hurt by politics. "We maintain our forecast of below-potential GDP growth of 3.7% in 2019, with downside risks increasing from export slowdown and political uncertainty," said Charnon Boonnuch, economist of Nomura in Singapore.
"Real estate, financial shares drag Philippine market"
BANGKOK, February 19 -- Philippine stocks fell the most on Tuesday dragged by losses in the real estate and financial stocks, as most of the Southeast Asian equity markets ended lower, while Malaysia gained as investors took positions amid the earnings season.
The Philippine index dropped about 1% to its lowest level since Jan 8, dragged by losses in real estate and financial stocks. "The Philippine market right now is in search of a new catalyst and with none in sight, some investors are already choosing to take profit," said Rachelle Cruz, an analyst with AP Securities. BDO Unibank Inc shed 3.2%, while Ayala Land Inc dropped 3.7% to close at its lowest level since Jan 3. "Ayala Corp has $293 million worth of bonds that are exchangeable to shares of ALI and that will mature by that time (in May). Some investors may look to cash in, exerting a downward pressure on ALI's share price," a note from RCBC securities said.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian index gained 0.8% to a three-month closing high on the back of materials and utilities. Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd rose 3.9% ahead of its fourth quarter result announcement. Shares of Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd strengthened more than 1%, after posting a jump in quarterly net profit.
Real estate stocks drove the Vietnam index marginally higher, with Vinhomes JSC and Vingroup JSC rising 6.1% and 2%, respectively. Singapore and Indonesia indexes traded relatively lower.
"SET drops, other Asean stock markets rise"
BANGKOK, February 14 -- The Stock Exchange of Thailand index ended lower, while other Southeast Asian stock markets closed higher on Thursday as a surprise jump in monthly Chinese trade data brought slight relief amid continued focus on Sino-US talks.
The SET index eased 3.09 points or 0.19% to 1,652.64, in turnover of 45.88 billion baht, despite gains in shares of telecom operators. True Corporation jumped 25 satang or 4.81% to 5.45 baht, Advanced Info Service added 2.50 baht or 1.37% to 184.50 and Jasmine International ended 25 satang or 4.24% higher to 6.15 baht. PTT shares however dropped 75 satang or 1.53% to 48.25 baht. The region's biggest trading partner, China, reported better-than-expected trade figures for January, easing some fears of an imminent slowdown in the economic powerhouse. High-level talks between the country and the United States have been a major focal point for markets this week. US President Donald Trump is considering a 60-day extension of the Mar 1 deadline for higher tariffs on Chinese imports, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources.
The Philippine benchmark firmed 0.9% to snap four consecutive sessions of losses and led the gains among its regional peers. Financial stocks were the biggest boost to the index, with BDO Unibank Inc rising 2.3% to post its best close in nearly 11-months. Asian fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corp jumped 1.7% and was also among the top gainers on the Philippine benchmark after reporting a rise in fourth-quarter net income. Philippine markets had seen large outflows over the past four sessions as foreign investors rebalanced their portfolios.
Meanwhile, the Vietnam stock exchange continued to gain for the fourth straight day, closing 0.8% up, supported by a persisting rally in the country's real estate sector. Property developers Vingroup JSC and Vincom Retail JSC gained 3.6% each. "(The) Vietnamese market has been moving in a positive direction on Wall Street cues. Investor sentiment has also been supported by a possibly positive outcome of the Trump – Kim summit slated for Hanoi later this month," said a stock broker with SSI Securities Corp. "Traditionally, cashflows into the market in Vietnam are often strong in the first quarter of the year as several corporate investors have abundant cash at hands."
The Malaysian index ticked up 0.2%, after data showed on Thursday that the country's economy expanded 4.7% in the October-December quarter from a year earlier, in line with expectations, ending four quarters of slowing growth.
Singapore's index ended 0.3% higher ahead of a fourth-quarter GDP report due on Friday. The country's economy likely grew at a slower pace than initially estimated as growth in the city-state's manufacturing and services sectors came under strain from slowing demand, a Reuters poll showed.
"Energy stocks lead SET gains, Philippine shares continue slide"
BANGKOK, Februari 13 -- Thai shares rose on Wednesday, with energy stocks leading broad-based gains, while the Philippine index declined for a fourth consecutive session.
Singapore stocks closed at a more than 4-month high, leading the gains in Southeast Asia after US President Donald Trump said he could relax the China trade deal deadline. Trump said on Tuesday that he could let the March 1 deadline to reach a trade agreement "slide for a little while," although he added he was not inclined to do so. However, his remarks spurred a rally in Wall Street overnight, as well as a number of Asian players.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand index advanced 13.24 points or 0.81% to 1,655.73, in turnover worth 45 billion baht. Shares of energy stocks were among the largest boosts to the index. PTT Plc added 50 satang or 1.03% to 49 baht. PTT Global Chemical Plc gained 1.75 baht or 2.59% to 69.25 baht and PTT Exploration and Production Plc advanced 2.50 baht or 2.06% to 124 baht.
The Philippine index, which has outperformed its peers this year so far, declined for a fourth consecutive session to end 1.1% lower, pressured by industrial and financial stocks. Industrial conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc dropped 3.9% and was the top loser on the benchmark, whereas BDO Unibank Inc fell 1.1%. Philippine's latest downturn appears to be a flow driven correction due to international investors reallocating their funds, said Rachelle C Cruz, an analyst with AP Securities.
The Singapore index, which has a high trade exposure with China, outpaced its peers for the day with a 1.4% rise, posting its highest close since Oct 3, 2018. Financials bolstered the benchmark with lender United Overseas Bank Ltd jumping 2.5%.
The Vietnam benchmark rose for the third day, closing about 0.8% higher, driven by financial and consumer stocks.
Malaysian shares ended 0.1% lower ahead of the country's fourth-quarter GDP figures released on Thursday.
BANGKOK, February 12 -- Thailand's stock market saw the largest slump in Southeast Asia as recent shockwaves in domestic politics and another possible US government shutdown riled investor confidence.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) index closed on Monday at 1,638 points, down 13.68 points or - 0.83%, in turnover worth 40.7 billion baht. Institutional were net sellers of 2.3 billion baht, while foreign investors unloaded 1.6 billion worth of shares. Monday's decline was the steepest in Asean, higher than the 0.41% slump in the Jakarta Composite index. Domestic political risks have returned to the fore as the Election Commission will consider a complaint seeking to ban the pro-Thaksin Thai Raksa Chart party after its controversial bid last Friday to make Princess Ubolratana its prime minister candidate for the March 24 general election, said investment analyst Prakit Siriwattanaket. Princess Ubolratana is still a royal family member and is not allowed to take political positions, although she has stepped down to be a commoner, according to His Majesty the King's announcement late on Friday.
The royal announcement published in the was nationally televised. If the Thai Raksa Chart party is dissolved, the other pro-Thaksin party Pheu Thai could lose more seats to opposition parties, said Mr Prakit. Thai Raksa Chart is viewed as an offshoot of Pheu Thai and was established about a decade ago before rebranding and relaunching late last year. Nuttachart Mekmasin, executive director at Trinity Securities, said institutional and foreign investors have offloaded local equities to reduce their risk exposure on the back of heightening domestic political risk. Shares associated with, or with a legacy tied to, the Shinawatra family tumbled from Thursday's surge.
Shares of SC Asset Corporation Plc (SC) plummeted by 5.7% from Friday's close to end the day at 2.98 baht per share. Shares of Advanced Info Service Plc (ADVANC), InTouch Holdings Plc (INTUCH) and Thaicom Plc (THCOM), all of which have a legacy tied to Thaksin, stumbled by 3.72%, 4.82% and 9.83%, respectively. Domestic political sentiments will only affect these equities on a short-term basis as the stock fundamentals remain unchanged, said Mr Prakit. Besides developments on US-China trade talks, another possible US government shutdown if lawmakers fail to negotiate a compromise on border security before a Feb 15 deadline also keeps a lid on investor confidence, he said.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday announced that billionaire Prasert Prasarttong-osoth and two other offenders agreed to comply with the SEC's civil sanction ruling by paying a combined sum of 499.45 million baht. From Nov 13, 2015 to Jan 12 2016, Dr Prasert, Poramaporn Prasarttong-osoth and Narumon Chainaknan colluded to sell and purchase Bangkok Airways Public Company Limited (BA) shares with each other continuously in a way of concealment to mislead the public on the price or volume of BA shares.