STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Telecom shares up on 3G licences hope

Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:39am EST

Telecom shares rose after the Thai telecom regulator approved on Friday an issuance of long-awaited 3G mobile-phone licences, prompting brokers to raise their expectations for operating outlooks and revenues for telecom operators.

The telecom subindex was up 0.3 percent while the benchmark SET index rose 0.4 percent.

Shares of companies which won bids of 2.1GHz/3G licenses gained, with Advanced Info Service Pcl up 0.5 percent at 214 baht, Total Access Communication Pcl rose 0.9 percent to 88.5 baht, while True Corp gained 0.8 percent at 5 baht.

Broker Asia Plus Securities said it upgraded the telecom sector to 'overweight'. It expects the telecom operators to roll out 3G services in the second quarter of next year.

Nomura said Advanced Info Service was its top buy, citing the company's strong position in 3G arena, strong earnings per share (EPS) growth profile, decent track record on beating earnings guidance and strong financial position.

Its AIS's price target was 269 baht.

1517 (0817 GMT)

(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; Editing by G.Ram Mohan)

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13:26 STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Fund buying lifts banks; Siam Commercial Bank leads

Banking shares .SETB gained 1.7 percent, outperforming the broader SET index .SETI, amid good buying interest from domestic institutions for retirement mutual funds (RMFs) and long term equity funds (LTFs), brokers said.

The SET index was up 0.5 percent at the midday break of 0530 GMT.

Siam Commercial Bank SCB.BK, the most actively traded, rose 3.8 percent to 177.5 baht, climbing at one point to a 16-year high of 178 baht. About 8.6 million shares changed hands, 1.5 times the average full-day volume in the last 30 sessions.

Siam Commercial Bank and other major banks such as Bangkok Bank Pcl BBL.BK and Kasikornbank Pcl KBAN.BK were among blue chip stocks that were targets for RMFs and LTFs, Tisco Securities said in a note to clients.

The funds offer tax breaks and generally see high demand toward the end of the year.

1314 (0614 GMT)

(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)