STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Thanachart rates TMB as bank top pick

Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:16pm EST

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Thanachart Securities rated TMB Bank its top pick for the banking sector, while maintaining a 'buy' rating with target price at 2.20 baht, saying ING's decision to sell its Thai unit is unlikely to have a negative impact on TMB profit.

ING Groep NV currently holds a 31 percent stake in Thailand's TMB.

The Dutch financial group agreed to sell its Thailand asset management unit, ING Funds, to Singapore's United Overseas Bank Ltd for 10 million euros ($12.8 million) in cash, as the company pushed ahead with its Asian divestments.

"TMB is the main distribution channel for ING's financial products. The revenue from asset management business accounts for 5 percent of its income, in which 3.5 percent comes from TMB Asset Management, while the other 1.5 percent comes from ING Funds," Thanachart explained in a note.

"Since TMB will continue to sell financial products for ING after the deal, we do not expect much adverse effects on TMB's revenue and profit".

At 0404 GMT, shares of TMB gained 0.56 percent to 1.79 baht, while the banking subindex lost 0.53 percent.

For the company statement, click

(Reporting by Sinsiri Tiwutanond in Bangkok; Editing by G.Ram Mohan; sinsiri.tiwutanond@thomsonreuters.com)

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