May 17, 2018 / 4:49 AM / in a year

SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia climbs ahead of decision; Malaysia up

    * Consumer, utilities buoy Malaysian stocks
    * Singapore snaps three sessions of losses

    By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
    May 17 (Reuters) - Indonesian shares edged higher on
Thursday ahead of the central bank's decision on interest rates
due later in the day, while consumer and utility stocks drove
Malaysian stocks up.
    Jakarta's main index climbed 0.7 percent with
Telekom Indonesia gaining over 3 percent and mining
contractor United Tractors rising as much as 4.1
    A Reuters poll showed that Bank Indonesia would raise
benchmark interest rates to support the rupiah, which has
lost more than 5 percent against the dollar since late January.

    In Malaysia, the Mahathir Mohamad-led government said it
will introduce a sales and service tax to partly offset the
shortfall in revenue from effectively scrapping GST (general
sales tax) from June.
    Kuala Lumpur's main index rose as much as half a
percent with Genting Bhd gaining as much as 5.4 pct.
Gas processor Petronas Gas Bhd was up as much as 2.5
    "Earnings wise, this (zero-rating of GST) will be positive
for consumer, automotive, banking and finance sectors via either
higher volumes or margin expansion as these businesses would no
longer have to absorb the GST," analysts at Malaysia's Maybank
IB Research said in a note.
    Gross domestic product data released by the central bank was
weaker than expected in the first quarter.
    Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, Singapore shares snapped
three sessions of losses and rose as much as 0.5 percent.
    Thai Beverage gained as much as 1.3 percent while
Singapore Telecommunications climbed 0.6 percent.
    The city-state's non-oil domestic exports rose sharply in
April, beating expectations, thanks to a surge in
pharmaceuticals sales.
    Meanwhile, Philippines shed as much as 0.9 percent,
hurt by losses in industrials and financials.
    Ayala Corp fell over 3 percent, while SM Investment
Corp was down as much as 1.7 percent.
    Vietnamese shares slid 0.9 percent with real estate
stocks leading the losses. Vingroup Joint Stock co,
down 4.6 percent, was the biggest drag.
For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on the day                            
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3536.13   3533.05         0.09
 Bangkok            1754.01   1750.62         0.19
 Manila             7804.94   7869.56         -0.82
 Jakarta            5893.781  5841.464        0.90
 Kuala Lumpur       1863.17   1858.26         0.26
 Ho Chi Minh        1047.07   1054.62         -0.72
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore          3536.13   3402.92         3.91
 Bangkok            1754.01   1753.71         0.02
 Manila             7804.94   8558.42         -8.80
 Jakarta            5893.781  6355.654        -7.27
 Kuala Lumpur       1863.17   1796.81         3.69
 Ho Chi Minh        1047.07   984.24          6.38
 (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri; Editing by Vyas
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