STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Krungsri upgrades PTT to 'buy'
Krungsri Securities upgraded Thailand's biggest energy firm PTT Pcl to 'buy' from 'hold', saying the recent share price weakness has given an opportunity to accumulate.
At the midsession break of 0530 GMT, PTT shares were up 0.9 percent at 328 baht. It fell 9.6 percent in the second quarter, reflecting expectations of the impact of weak refinery and petrochemical businesses on the quarterly earnings.
The stock is up 3.2 percent so far this year, underperforming a 17.8 percent gain of the broader stock market .
The broker expected PTT to post a second-quarter net profit of 8.9 billion baht ($283 million), down 73 percent year-on-year. It lowered 2012 net profit forecast by 19 percent to 99.3 billion baht and 2013 forecast by 14 percent to 117.6 billion baht.
Krungsri lowered PTT's target price to 350 baht from 380 baht.
"We believe the share price now offers an opportunity to accumulate on a 12-month investment horizon. We also expect earnings in the second half will increase on an improving performance by PTT Exploration and Production," it said.
1250 (0550 GMT)
(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; email@example.com)
11:21 STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Citigroup raises price targets on banking shares
Citigroup raised price targets on the shares of a number of Thai banks, including Krung Thai Bank Pcl KTB.BK, Siam Commercial Bank Pcl SCB.BK and Bank of Ayudhya Pcl BAY.BK, citing strong second-quarter results and a positive outlook for the banking sector.
It raised the target price for Krung Thai Bank's shares to 23 baht from 19.5 baht and Siam Commercial Bank's shares to 190 baht from 164 baht. Bank of Ayudhya's price target was increased to 38 baht from 30 baht.
The bank subindex .SETB is up 28.4 percent so far this year, outperforming a 17.9 percent gain of the broader stock market .SETI.
"Thai banks' second quarter results showed continued strong momentum of 25 percent increase year on year. Positive surprises came from net interest margins as the pressure on the cost of funds continued to ease," the broker said in a report.
"We raise 2012-13 estimated earnings by 4 percent, on average ... We anticipate strong consumer and SME loans to continue. NIM, in general, should stabilize from the second quarter, which is a positive revision," it said.
Citi said Kasikornbank Pcl KBAN.BK remained its top buys list thanks to its balanced earnings growth without too much dependence on loan growth. It added Krung Thai Bank to its list of top picks, saying negative news on management change and capital-raising appeared to have been priced in.
1101 (0401 GMT)
(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; firstname.lastname@example.org
($1 = 31.495 baht)
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