August 25, 2011 / 10:37 AM / 8 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Mostly lower as valuations send investors north

 * Stocks pare gains as stretched valuations keep investors
 * Thailand top underperformer as banks continue downward
 * Singapore stocks outperform, up 1.7 percent
 By Vikram Subhedar	
 HONG KONG, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks were
mostly lower on Thursday, underperforming other Asian markets as
foreign investors seeking value showed a preference for markets
such as China and Hong Kong.	
 Regional markets got an initial lift as global equities
rallied but the gains faded towards the close, with Thailand's
SET index the worst performer, ending down 1.9 percent. 	
 Jakarta closed little changed while Malaysia 
fell 0.3 percent.	
 Those losses came as a strong showing for China and South
Korea helped the broad MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan index 
 post a gain of 0.4 percent.	
 "Even though the arguments for ASEAN's relative resilience
and robust domestic demand hold, it's not going to be a bed of
roses for these markets," said Mun Hon Tham, a regional
strategist at Daiwa Capital Markets in Hong Kong.	
 "If there are big redemptions, these are the ones that are
going to be taken down," said Tham, adding that Indonesia was
probably the most crowded market in terms of foreign ownership
and could be most at risk.	
 Valuations are another concern.	
 Analysts at Credit Suisse said in a report that the
Indonesian market's price-to-book ratio at about 3.6 is more
than double the 1.5 seen during the lows of the 2008/09
financial crisis.	
 By comparison, the MSCI China index trades at just
10 percent above its 2008/09 lows, making the case for a shift
of funds away from Southeast Asia into China.	
 "Indonesia seems priced to perfection at the moment. It's a
good time to take money off the table," said Daiwa's Tham.	
 Corporate results helped underpin gains in places.	
 Malaysia's Sime Darby , which returned to a profit
in its fourth quarter following a dismal performance a year
before, rose 1.2 percent.	
 Banks continued to drag Thailand lower, with the sector
sub-index down 1.6 percent. The banking index in
Thailand has fallen nearly 12 percent this month, retreating
from a record high.	
 Bucking the regional trend, Singapore stocks rose
1.7 percent, with commercial developer Capitamalls Asia
 the top gainer with an 8.5 percent rise. Commodities
group Noble rose 4.8 percent. 	
 Southeast Asian stocks have lost much of their recent upward
momentum, which brough all-time highs for Malaysia in July, and
for Indonesia and the Philippines early this month.	
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For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click;	
 Change on day
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 Singapore          2765.74       2719.90       +1.69
 Kuala Lumpur       1464.74       1469.15       -0.3
 Bangkok            1025.00       1046.43       -2.05
 Jakarta            3844.38       3847.02       -0.07
 Manila             4342.69       4366.45       -0.54
 Hanoi               401.65       396.68        +1.25
 Change on year
 Market             Current     End prev yr    Pct Move
 Singapore          2765.74       3190.04       -13.3
 Kuala Lumpur       1464.74       1518.91       -3.57
 Bangkok            1025.00       1032.76       -0.75
 Jakarta            3844.38      3703.51        +3.80
 Manila             4342.69       4201.14       +3.37
 Hanoi               401.65        484.66       -17.13
0 : 0
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