STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Thanachart keeps 'overweight' on telecoms sector

Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:38pm EST

Thanachart Securities kept its 'overweight' rating on the telecom sector on hopes that the winners of the 3G auction will be granted their licences by January 2013 after a probe found no evidence of alleged collusion.

A panel set up to investigate alleged price collusion among the three winners in the 3G spectrum auction found no evidence and will forward its final findings to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission's (NBTC) office on Nov. 30, local newspaper The Nation reported.

The broker said the news helped ease worries over the delayed 3G licences, despite a possible injunction by the Central Administrative Court on a separate inquiry - the worst-case scenario.

"Since the NBTC held the auction in compliance to the law and regulations, we see a low possibility for the worst-case scenario to happen," Thanachart said in a note.

"We are positive that the licensing process will follow through early next year as planned and we maintain our view that 3G will be the key driver in growth for the telecoms industry".

At 0420 GMT, True Corp led its rivals with a 1.74 percent gain at 4.68 baht, followed by a 0.3 percent rise of Total Access Communication, while Advanced Info Service dropped 0.26 percent.

The telecoms subindex was up 0.07 percent.

(Reporting by Sinsiri Tiwutanond in Bangkok; Editing by Jijo Jacob; sinsiri.tiwutanond@thomsonreuters.com)